Posted by:
Heather Hutchins

Heather Hutchins

June 25, 2015

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Holiday Party Eating

Even the best holiday bashes can be laden with awkward, meaningless conversation and devilish little hors d’oeuvres that can put your diet in danger. Here are some simple tricks to avoid the food traps at your next fete.

Have a balanced mini-meal before heading to the party. Make sure to incorporate a high-protein, low-fat snack with vegetables or fruit before heading out the door to the party. Fruit with cottage cheese or low-fat yogurt; half a turkey sandwich and a small piece of fruit; or a small tossed salad with low-fat dressing and some chicken are good options. Remember to keep the mini-meal low-fat since most hors d’oeuvre options will have plenty to make up for it.

Keep your hands full. Always carry a glass of water, wine, or whatever you choose to drink—and don’t put it down once it’s empty. This way, when the waitstaff circles around with the next tempting item, it’ll be difficult to stay engaged in conversation, balance your glass, and stuff your face at the same time.

Think before you reach. With so many varieties of appetizers whizzing by you, it can be tempting to try them all—even if you know you don’t like lamb chops or foie gras. The trick is to think about your food choices: Forgo the calorie-laden coconut shrimp in favor of basic shrimp cocktail, move past the mini-quiche, and load your plate with vegetable crudités and a cube or two of cheese. Also, opt for the chicken satay rather than the chicken fingers, which are probably breaded and fried.

Dance. Tearing it up on the dance floor (so long as you’re following suit with the rest of your colleagues and not making a scene) is a great way to burn a few extra calories—plus it’ll take your mind off of drinking or eating more.

Drink, anyone? It’s cool to have a couple of cocktails at the company party (and boy, do you need one), but remember to have a glass of water between each. Not sure what to imbibe? Red wine will set you back about 120 calories per five-ounce serving, but it also packs some powerful antioxidants. Light beer has around 110 calories and has its own antioxidant benefits to boot. If you’re a mixed-drink maven, opt for club or diet soda as mixers: Juice and tonic water pack a ton of extra sugar and carbs. Cheers!