Seven Ways to Eat Light During the Holidays

Tasty candy caneTasty candy caneThe holidays are fun times for parties and lots of food. However, the downside is many people gain a few stubborn pounds during this time just because there is so much food.

If you like the parties, but not the January rush to lose all the holiday weight, you have to be smart. It will be much easier come January first if you party with a few ground rules. I'm not saying to give up on all the fun-just the fun that goes overboard leaving you feeling sick and unhappy with yourself. These seven tips will help you keep off the pounds while hitting the holiday parties.

1. Use a Small Plate
This is a psychological trick that can work for you at a party. Simply grab a small plate instead of a big one. Most every spread has both dinner and dessert sized plates. Choose a dessert plate for your food. The appearance of a full plate, even if small, gives the mental impression you are eating more than you would if the plate were larger.

2. Fill Up on Veggies
Most hosts who serve heavy hors d'oeuvres will have a veggie plate alongside the other goodies. Do yourself and the host a favor by eating mostly from the veggie tray. That way, they won't have to throw the leftovers out and you won't have leftover saddle bags to contend with.

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3. Stand and Talk When You Dine

Have you ever been at a holiday party and wanted a drink or a bite to eat, but you couldn't break away from someone who was talking to you? Use the same technique to eat light. Stand and chat with people as you eat from your small plate. You might want to position yourself as far away from the food table as you can-so talking and eating means you won't be pigging out. You'll be a part of the conversations requiring you to temper your intake and eat slower. This will give your stomach time to realize it is full.

4. Sip Eggnog and Then Gulp Water
You may not want to cut out Eggnog and other fatty drinks completely, but taking a sip or two is better than a glass or two. Take a few sips worth into your glass, say a toast, drink up. Then wash it down with a glass of water. Water will make you feel more full as the evening continues.

5. Share Your Dessert
If your host is serving pie or cake, ask a friend if they'd like to share a piece with you. You probably won't be the only guest who is trying to keep it off. So you will be a hero. Tip: Cut the dessert halves unequally sized portions. See if you can give the other person the bigger half too. This is always good for a laugh and a little spat about who can afford to gain the added weight. The compliments should keep you on track.

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6. Don't Eat What You Don't Like

If you try some of your aunt's "exotic" fruitcake and it tastes like exotic cardboard, don't eat any more! Save those calories and fat for something else. In fact, anytime you find yourself not liking something you are eating, stop! Unless you are in real starvation mode, there is no reason to eat a bunch of junk you don't like-especially at a party-unless your host is just a bad cook.

7. Listen to Your Gut
When you feel full, you're full; it's time to do something else. Chat with your friends, play a game, sing some carols. Just step away from the snacks. Eating until you burst will make you unnecessarily tired and feel sick later. Tis the season to be jolly, not bloated and gassy.

Originally published by DivineCaroline contributor DumbLittleMan.com.

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