A few months after the annual Christmas food-and-drink binge, are you still carrying Santa's belly?

Relatives "can encourage overeating and even sabotage your diet", warns Cynthia Sass, co-author of Diet is Driving Me Crazy.

Here are her hints for avoiding family-induced flab


She expresses affection with food.
The fix: tell her ahead of time if you're limiting carbs or fat and she won't be insulted. Bring plastic containers to load up on leftovers. You'll be set for weeks.


There are politico-familial reasons to "enjoy" what her mum serves.
The fix: pick one dish and praise it mightily. Go light on the rest.

Brother or dad

They expect you to down beer, chips and ribs like in the old days and take it personally if you don't.
The fix: bring light beer and healthy nuts. And revive the traditional touch-footy game.


They want to make a stop at McDonald's on the way to nanna's.
The fix: pack snacks so you won't be finishing off their fries. Rice crackers, pretzels and stick cheese are good choices.

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