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Health.com: 21 Holiday Health Mistakes

You Give Yourself a Cheat Day... Or Days

The new year is a time for personal reflection and setting goals for self-improvement. It also happens to be when maybe it starts with doughnuts at your breakfast meeting, or a cookie swap among coworkers. Then comes the holiday luncheon. By the time dinner rolls around, you figure you've already done enough damage—might as well finish the day off with the richest item on the menu, plus dessert. "It's not just the calories that are the problem here," says Virgin. "You're also psychologically allowing yourself future food deviations and setting yourself up for failure."

Letting yourself splurge at truly special events—like enjoying your sister's stuffing and your mom's pies at Christmas dinner—is one thing, but don't allow yourself to make excuses for each and every mini holiday celebration. "Have a plan and don't deviate," says Virgin. "If you absolutely must have a dessert, follow my three polite-bite rule: three bites and step away from the cookies"

(Getty Images)
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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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