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The holiday party season is here, and even more so than parties at other times of the year, the holiday party season tends to be the heaviest on carbs.  Cookies, candies, desserts, and holiday breads are added to the usual array of crackers, chips, and rolls.  Before you eat your way into a carb-induced stupor, take some time to think ahead to keep yourself on track with your weight-loss diet plan.

Before you go:

  • Make a realistic game plan.  Do you want to make it through the party completely on-plan?  If not, how much of a deviation do you want to allow yourself?  Eating one cookie does not need to lead to an entire night of overindulgence nor make you feel like you have fallen off your diet plan.  The important thing is to see it as a planned deviation and not slide into a frame of mind that says, “Oh, well, there is always New Year.”
  • Ask the host if you can bring something.  Make sure it is yummy and still within your diet plan.  That way, you know that you will have something to fall back on.  Plus, everyone will appreciate that you brought something tasty and healthy to share.  Check out this Fennel with Olive Tapenade, Feta, and Mint or Hoisin-Glazed Flank Steak Spirals for inspiration.
  • Do not leave your house half-starved.  Trying to “save up” your calories for a big meal usually lead to overeating or even bingeing on the first five things your eyes fall on.  Instead, eat a substantial snack that is within your diet plan, such as Salmon Balls with Pecans or Turkey Lollipops.

When you get there:

  • Check out the food scene and form a plan.  If you have planned a treat, figure out what that treat will be, but do not grab it, yet.  Just know that later, it will be yours.  (If you are worried it will be gone, see if you can find somewhere to stash it).
  • Go for the on-plan dishes first.  Good bets include veggies with dip, cheese slices, sausage cubes, and nuts followed by salads, vegetables, meats, and fruits.  Make one small plate instead of going back over and over again or continuously grazing throughout the course of the event.  Go find someone to talk to away from the food to distance yourself from temptation as much as possible.
  • Get something to drink.  Water is always the best choice.  Definitely try to avoid sugary mixers or alcoholic drinks.  If you do grab a high-carb drink, make the next one or two calorie-free.  Another good tip is to hold the drink in your dominant hand, so it will be harder for you to graze.
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