1. Never go to a party hungry- it is a much smarter plan to have a small snack of fruit or veggies than arriving at a party starving and spending too much time at the appetizer table consuming high calorie foods like crackers and dip, which leads me to my next point…
2. Don’t do your socializing around the appetizer table- get a small plate and leave the area to avoid temptation and mindless eating.
3. Fill up on salads with light dressings or broth based soups before your meal- these are low calorie options that will fill you up before getting to the main course with more calorie dense foods.
4. Watch the alcohol intake- cocktails can have between 65-400 calories per drink. Typically, the more basic the drink the lower in calories so choosing a glass of wine or vodka with club soda is a better choice than a lemon drop martini. And remember, the recommended alcohol intake is 2 drinks/day for men and 1 drink/day for women.
5. Go easy on the extras- Calories from things like sauces, dressings, gravy and butter can add up very quickly and ruin a healthy meal. Favorites like turkey can be a healthy part of the meal until smothered in gravy.
6. Bring a healthy option to the party- There are many ways to make your favorite recipes much healthier by tweaking a few ingredients (see recipe below). If bringing a dish to the party, bringing a healthier option will guarantee there will be one good option and it may inspire others to change their recipes!
7. Eat slowly and enjoy the company- that is what you are there for after all! Be careful of the mindless munching and don’t rush through your meal.
8. Don’t get discouraged- If you overdue it on the calories during a party don’t beat yourself up over it. One day is not going to ruin everything you have done but getting upset with yourself can send you on a downward spiral, so just start over the next day with a good attitude and you will get right back on track.
9. Be careful with leftovers- If having a party, hand out leftovers to guests before they leave so you won’t be stuck with more food than you know what to do with.
10. Plan time for exercise- Holiday gatherings don’t have to just be focused on food, get the whole family involved for a walk after the meal or a game of touch football.