Nutrition Articles

Eat, Drink and Be Healthy! Holiday Party Strategies

´Tis the season for favorite holiday foods and treats as well as the added calories that often accompany them. But fear not! You can still eat, drink and stay on a healthy track with these holiday party strategies.

Trim ahead. Enjoy holiday parties without gaining extra pounds by trimming calories a few days before and after the event. Eat smaller-size snacks and put one-third less food on your plate at meals. Enjoy fruit for dessert and squeeze in some extra walking during the day.

Don't arrive on empty. Skipping meals all day to cut calories before a big holiday party backfires if you arrive ravenous and lose control. Take the edge off your hunger by having a light snack before you leave home. A cheese stick and an apple, a small bowl of cereal or half a peanut butter or turkey sandwich will do.

Mind your munchies. When you're chatting with other guests, it's easy to overdo nearby nibbles like chips, hors d´oeurves and sweets. Steer clear of extra calories by moving your party conversations away from the food table.

Prioritize your plate. Save your calories for special foods such as Grandmas pie or your neighbors famous crab dip. If there's a buffet, survey the choices before you start filling your plate. That way, you'll know what's coming up so you can choose small portions of your favorites and bypass the rest.

Slim down servings. Don't deny yourself favorite foods – just enjoy them in smaller portions. If that mouthwatering mile-high chocolate torte is calling your name, take a slender slice and savor every bite.

Bring your own. Offer to bring a dish and keep it light and delicious. Some options are a colorful fruit or veggie platter, shrimp cocktail, a lightened up dip made with reduced-fat mayonnaise or sour cream, or a festive green salad tossed with dried cranberries, apple chunks, toasted walnuts and light vinaigrette dressing.

Think about drinks. To save calories, opt for calorie-free drinks like sparkling water with a twist of lime or a diet soft drink. If you like eggnog, try the reduced-fat version, but remember, it still contains calories – about 120 per 1/2-cup serving.

Move it. Don't just stand around at parties – burn calories by showing off your best dance moves. Plan a family walk after a big holiday meal.