Kathy McManus, MS, RD, director, Department of Nutrition
Do not arrive hungry to the party! Skipping meals before a holiday party to save calories for the celebration may lead to you overeating. Instead, eat a light meal or snack before arriving to the party. A snack or meal that is high in fiber is ideal because it will help control your appetite and help you avoid overeating.
Choose the right plate. You are more likely to eat food that ends up on your plate. Thus, choosing a smaller plate will not only help prevent you from filling your plate with more items than you really need, but it will also make the amount of food on your plate look larger.
Be merry. Spread holiday cheer by spending time enjoying the company of others at the party. The more you talk, the less time you will spend eating.
Balance your plate. Aim to fill half of your plate with vegetables, a quarter with lean protein and a quarter with starch. Trim visible fat off the meats and/or remove the skin on poultry before eating.
Bring something to the party. Offer to bring an appetizer, side or dessert to the party. The host or hostess will appreciate the help, and you’ll have control over what goes into the dish.
Fill up on vegetables and fruits. Not only do these foods have plenty of vitamins and minerals, but they also contain fiber, which helps keep you feeling full longer and less likely to indulge in high-calorie foods.
Be mindful of beverages. One cup of eggnog can set you back around 360 calories while hot chocolate can contain around 200 calories. Meanwhile, alcoholic mixed drinks can easily contain more than 200 calories. Instead of drinking the traditional holiday eggnog and cocktails, opt for a glass of sparkling water with a splash of your favorite juice or a wine spritzer.
Take a walk after the meal. Instead of sitting around after the meal, get moving. Try to find some like-minded folks who want to burn off a few calories of the delicious food you just consumed.