For many of us, our clothes get a little bit tighter over the holidays thanks to parties and holiday food like cookies and cakes.

Along with the holidays comes extra food, and those extra unwanted pounds. But dietician and diabetes educator Clarissa Rivera with University Health System, says it doesn't have to be that way.

Rivera said, "It's still possible to have a healthier meal in a way that it's going to keep you feeling well, also being healthy to prevent chronic diseases."

As a dietitian, Rivera explains to patients, like Sergio Martinez who recently had a triple bypass, how portion size is important while trying to eat the right stuff.

She said, "Half of the plate is filled with vegetables, a quarter of the plate would be with lean meat, the other quarter of your plate would be a high-fiber starch." Martinez added, "I didn't really watch what I ate. I used to eat a lot of meat, beef, steaks, or whatever I could. I didn't really care about my eating."

What you drink also plays a big role in your quest to stay healthy.

"We want to avoid those extra calories that are found in beverages. Extra sugar in soda can easily add two hundred calories to a plate," said Rivera.

Here are a couple of examples of healthy holiday eating.

Hot Chocolate Recipe

Recipe for Christmas Wreath Salad

To learn about more healthy recipes the Texas Diabetes Institute regularly conducts $5 cooking classes. The next one, "Soups For The Soul," takes place January 12.

To register for the classes click here.

For more men's health information call 210-358-3045. You can also find the rest of our Real Men Wear Gowns stories, just go to