6 Holiday Party Survival Guide Tips You Need to Know

These six tips will help you avoid unwanted holiday party weight gain.
Fall dinner

Fall dinner

The holidays are here, which means party after party and lots of delicious food and flowing cocktails. But don’t fret! You can still fit into that little black dress and enjoy the yummy spread too.

Survival Tip 1: Don’t Arrive Hungry

Although you may be saving your appetite for all the party goodies, if you arrive super famished you will lose all self-control and indulge in everything you see! Instead, have a healthy snack about 30 minutes to an hour before the party, such as Greek yogurt, a fresh fruit, peanut butter and whole-grain crackers, or hummus and veggies.

Survival Tip 2: Toby's 2-Tablespoon Rule

Scan the food at the party and determine two or three indulgent dishes you really want to try. Instead of taking full portions of each and leaving with a stomachache, serve yourself only two tablespoons of each. That way you can taste what you want, for a fraction of the calories.

Survival Tip 3: Choose Wine or Beer

Because cocktails are made of a variety of liquors, the calories vary and can be as high as 550 calories per drink. You can’t mess around with the calories in wine or beer: One 5-fluid-ounce glass of wine has about 120 calories, while a 12-ounce bottle of beer runs about 150 calories. If you want to cut back even more on calories, choose light beer, which has about 100 calories per 12-ounce bottle. Stick to a max of two drinks, and sip water or seltzer between drinks so you don’t end up guzzling more than you wanted.

Survival Tip 4: Pace Yourself

You don’t have to run to the buffet table the minute you arrive! Scout out the room, see who is there, check out the food and, of course, the bar. Then start with a small plate of food and fill up slowly throughout the night. Take your time to enjoy small amounts of food over the next few hours.

Survival Tip 5: Enjoy Good Old Conversation!

Parties are the time to catch up with family members and friends that you don’t get around to seeing throughout the year. So put down your electronic devices and take the time to catch up. Now is the time to enjoy the happy moments you get to spend with your loved ones.

Survival Tip 6: Be Choosy with Desserts

Holiday desserts rock, but you don’t need to eat them all! Choose one or two desserts that you really want to try, and eat only a few bites or split with a friend. Oftentimes it takes only a few bites to satisfy that craving!

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. She is the author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen: More Than 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day.

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