Detroit nutritionist Dr. Velonda Thompson’s tips for eating healthy before the big holiday meal

t’ll be Jan. 1 before you know it, and guess what? You’re going to post that same old Facebook status on New Year’s Day like you always do (“2017 is MY year! No more games!”) and make that mental checklist to start eating better and get (back) in shape. The beginning of the year is when gym membership spikes – but also drop off, because people never get in the habit of eating and exercising regularly.

So why not get in the habit before the New Year? We asked noted local nutritionist Dr. Velonda Thompson for advice on starting a routine before that big holiday meal.


Get in the habit now of drinking water, Thompson says. “Begin the day with water and end the day with water. Your water intake should be half your body weight in ounces,” she says. (So if you weigh 200 pounds, you should be consuming 100 ounces of water daily.) And, Thompson says, “Beverages like tea don’t count. It has to be water.” Some more dietary advice:

  • Don’t come to the dinner table starving. Too often for the big meal, we wait to eat. “But if you come to the meal absolutely famished, you’ll most likely overeat,” Thompson says.
  • Be mindful about portion control. Holiday meals are when we tend to treat grandma’s kitchen like an all-you-can-eat buffet. That’s a no-no. “Make sure there’s some white space on your plate. You don’t want to cover every inch of the plate with food.”
  • Eat like ‘a rainbow.’ Thompson wants to see some color on your plate – especially reds and greens. “Fruits and vegetables come in array of colors, but the colors have the maximum vitamins and minerals in them.”
  • It’s OK to snack, but again, be mindful. “Your body is always looking for something else,” Thompson says, so she recommends snacking on trail mix, fruits or veggies.


More from Dr. Velonda Thompson at


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