Company's Coming! 6 Ways to Save Your Diet

Having houseguests doesn't have to wreak havoc on your waistline.

By Colette Bouchez
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Feature

Reviewed By Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD/LD

Holidays and houseguests go together like -- well, roast beef and mashed potatoes, or apple pie and ice cream. And that can be a problem for the host or hostess who is watching his or her weight.

Holidays, guests, and food can be the trifecta of seasonal weight gain, experts say. From the temptations of all those candy dishes filled to the brim, to missing your regular workouts, to a few too many toasts to the season, the combination can be a veritable calorie minefield.

"Some people look for an excuse to go off their diet, or not exercise," says Jo-Anne Rizzotto, RD, a nutritionist and diabetes educator at the Joslin Clinic in Boston. "And when you haven't seen someone in a long time, and they come to stay, well, it can give you that reason."

What's more, the longer guests stay in your home, the more tempted you may be to veer off the path of healthy living.

"This not only presents problems for those trying to lose weight, it can be even more harmful for those with conditions such as diabetes or kidney disease" that require a special diet, says Toby Amidor, RD, a nutrition instructor in the culinary department of the Art Institute of New York City.

But with a little planning and creative thinking, the experts say, you can stick to your healthy habits -- and maybe even help your guests acquire a few new ones.