8 Tips to Avoid Excess Calories at Holiday Parties

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Updated: 12/04/2012 4:48 pm Published: 12/03/2012 4:47 pm

The holiday parties are in full force and the finger foods, buffets, and dinner parties are too. To avoid the guilt of overeating Megan Gilchrist, dietitian at St. John Medical Center has eight tips:

Party at home beforehand: Have a snack that will hold you over before heading to the party – 14 almonds, 1 cheese stick and 5 whole grain crackers with 8 oz water, will provide a well-balanced, filling snack to help avoid over-snacking.

Be the last in line: Never underestimate the visual power of food and how it affects appetite. The buffet/appetizer table looks great when you're the lucky first man to it, but once people have ventured through the line, the food loses its luster. Imagine the potatoes au gratin with the crusty topping -- it's usually gone by the time you get to it if you're last in line.

Avoid high calorie mixers: Try mixing your alcohol of choice with diet or calorie free mixers when choosing to drink during a holiday party.

Avoid reindeer sweaters and elastic band pants: The pant suit you thought looked great last year with the elastic waist will spell trouble at the holiday party because it will allow you to eat tons of food without feeling discomfort-it’s nice to have a guide on when we have over indulged and a pair of fitted pants will help with this.

Don’t build food towers: Ask for a salad plate vs. dinner plate so there is less room to fill your plate. Try not to stack food and space the food out to limit the amount of food you can fit on the plate.

Help the host out: Help out the host/hostess by serving or cleaning up to avoid sitting around and doing nothing at a party-this allows you to still mingle with other guests but also provide you with an activity.

Focus on friends, not food: Enjoy the company and conversations, because that is the true reason for the gathering vs. over-indulging on the food being served.

Chew chew chew gum: Chew gum after you have had an appropriate serving of food, to help you to avoid picking during the party. 

St. John Healthy Lifestyles is located St. John Medical Center. Visit them at 1819 E. 19th Street, Tulsa or check them out online at www.stjohnhealthclub.com. 


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