The winter season, with its holiday traditions of foods and festivities, can be the toughest for dieters. Yet with careful planning, you can enjoy the holiday feasts and rounds of parties without foregoing health and weight maintenance.
‘Tis the season to party, and if you’re like most people, a quick lesson on how to maneuver through a room filled with party platters and holiday treats (a.k.a. fat traps) might just save your diet this season. Believe it or not, it’s possible to eat, drink, and be merry–and still maintain your weight.
Simply follow these survival tips to enjoy the festive season without gaining extra pounds.
- Eat a small, healthy snack before a party to curb hunger pangs.
- Lighten Up on the Drinks. When ordering a drink at your next party, keep in mind that calories from holiday beverages can add up.
- Slow your drinking pace. Put your drink down between sips and socialize more.
- Make drinks last longer. Sip your drink or use a straw. You can also dilute cocktails with water, ice, or club soda to increase the volume.
- Switch back and forth. If you have an alcoholic beverage, make the next one a nonalcoholic one mixed with diet soda, seltzer, or club soda, all of which have few or no calories.
- Go virgin. Order a cocktail of fruit juice, carbonated water, or a diet soft drink or drink mix.
- Try seltzer. Having a seltzer or sparkling water with a twist of lemon in your will make you less likely to reach for more fattening drinks.
- Order mulled cider. With about 107 calories and no fat per 8-ounce mug, this is a healthy treat you can indulge in without putting on pounds.
- Splurge on drinks that really matter. Dont deny yourself a champagne toast at midnight. Instead have light drinks throughout the evening, waiting for the one you really want.
- Snack Smart. Watching the calories and fat from drinks won’t matter if you’re standing by the nut bowl the whole evening.
- Think baked, not fried. Steer clear of greasy chicken wings and snack chips; instead, reach for baked foods–and if you must dip, go for salsa.
- Steer clear of high fat food items such as pastry puffs; opt for crispbreads or French bread instead.
- Try hummus. Another smart substitute for creamy dips, it has only 26 calories and 1 gram of fat per tablespoon–plus, it’s full of protein.
- Head for the cold seafood plate. Shellfish, such as shrimp, are delicious, low-calorie and low-fat, as is cocktail sauce.
- You can’t go wrong with fresh. Raw vegetables and fruit are the best choices for mindless muching.
- Don’t ignore the cold cuts platter. It’s a lot better for you than many other things at the buffet table. As long as you don’t add mayonnaise, go ahead and splurge on turkey and roast beef. Steer clear of salami and bologna, however, which are higher in fat.