Q: How can I survive the holiday party circuit without ruining my diet?
A: The key, according to Stacey Segal, registered dietitian at Toronto’s Harbourfront Health & Wellness Centre, is to plan ahead. So start the day with a nutritious breakfast and eat regularly throughout the day, with a small snack before heading out to your party. “Skipping a meal to save on calories is a big mistake because you’ll completely overindulge once you get there,” says Segal.
When you’re at the party, “be aware of what you’re eating—mindless eating can happen when you’re busy chatting with friends. Ask yourself if you really want to eat what is on your plate,” she says. “If the answer is no, put down the plate of food and grab a bottle of Perrier to keep your hands occupied.”
As for choosing healthier hors d’hoeuvres, Segals suggests opting for chopped veggies and hummus dip and salad rolls (the type made with rice-paper wraps) instead of the fried and breaded appetizer options. Remember, though, that it’s not about depriving yourself. If you really want that deep-fried cheese stick, have one as a treat to satisfy your craving.
When it comes to beverages, this is where there are tons of hidden calories. One glass of eggnog can add up to 400 calories. If you’d like a glass, make it more diet-friendly by mixing half a glass of eggnog with half a glass of skim milk. The same goes for wine: mix half of your red or white wine with club soda to make it a spritzer.
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