By Jill Daniels, MS, RD
PLAN AHEAD. Never go to a party on an empty stomach. Regular, moderate eating will help to keep up your energy level and avoid the kind of hunger that sends you diving head first into the buffet table.
QUENCH YOUR THIRST FIRST. Make the water pitcher your first stop or ask for sparkling water.
BEWARE OF THE BUBBLY. Alcohol, especially on an empty stomach, stimulates your appetite and lowers your resistance to how much you eat. Alcohol also sabotages your body’s ability to burn fat. If you choose to drink, alternate between an alcoholic drink and sparkling water.
BRING YOUR OWN SAFETY ZONE. The best way to ensure that there will be something healthy to nibble on at a holiday party is to bring it yourself. A vegetable tray and a low fat dip are always a hit for the health conscious party goers. Many vegetables can be purchased pre-cut and adding a ranch dip mix to light sour cream takes only minutes to prepare.
EAT FOOD ONLY OFF OF A PLATE. Foods grabbed from the bag or eaten in handfuls can make it easy to gulp down extra calories.
CONSERVE WHEN YOU SERVE. Cut down on portion sizes whenever possible. This will automatically cut down on calories and fat grams.
PRIORITIZE YOUR PLATE. Before diving into the buffet table, survey all the offerings. Choose only what you like best and skip the rest or go for the dishes that are new or unusual and pass on the common chips and dip.
WHEN IN DOUBT, CUT IT OUT. Those holiday leftovers will call to you no matter where in the house you hide them. Have containers ready and send food home with guests or take the leftovers to work.
MINGLE AROUND SOMETHING OTHER THAN THE FOOD. People naturally gravitate toward something to do. If you are hosting the party, set up an activity such as a jigsaw puzzle with the border in place and the rest of the pieces on the table. Try to focus on the people more than the food and position yourself away from the food trays while visiting.
For more ways to reach your healthiest weight, contact Jill Daniels, MS, RD, at (925) 784-1538 or www.jilldanielsrd.com