How to Cut Calories at Holiday Parties

These 7 strategies help you fight holiday weight gain.

It’s no surprise that most holiday celebrations revolve around food. Although it’s great to spend time with friends and family at these events, it’s also easy to get distracted from your commitment to maintaining or losing weight. But with a few sensible eating strategies, you’ll be less likely to wind up with an expanding waistline by the time the new year rolls around.

Here are 7 tips to help you keep calorie consumption in check at your next holiday party:

  1. Don’t go hungry. You may think the best way to control calories is to limit how much you eat all day so you can “save up” your calories. The problem is that by the time the festivities begin, you’re starving, which leads to overeating. Instead, eat a snack or small meal before you head out so you’re not grabbing the first food you see.
  2. Drink water. Water helps to fill you up so you won’t eat as much. It can also help keep you from getting dehydrated. Very often, we think we’re hungry when all we really are is thirsty.
  3. Fill your plate with good choices. It’s easy to mindlessly grab chips and calorie-dense appetizers without even realizing how much you put in your mouth. Instead, scan the table and load your plate with lower-calorie foods first, such as veggies with a little dip. This way, there’s less room to add the other stuff.
  4. Choose what you want to indulge in. Pick out the one or two foods you really can’t do without and take a small portion. Savor the texture, aroma and taste. Pay attention to each bite so you get the most bang for your calorie buck.
  5. Move away from the food. Position yourself somewhere that doesn’t make it easy for you to just reach out and swipe another bite.
  6. Keep something in your hand. Want to avoid grabbing more food? Keep your hands full! Hold a handbag or plate in one hand and a low-calorie drink in the other.
  7. Pop a mint or gum in your mouth. This makes it less likely you’ll eat something else.

 

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Date Last Reviewed: October 19, 2017

Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor

Medical Review: Jane Schwartz, RD

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