‘Tis the season for holiday gatherings and parties with friends, family and co-workers. Research indicates that it’s not the parties that prompt us to eat, but being around friends and family that may lead to diet missteps. In a study conducted at Pennsylvania State University in University Park, researchers found that dining in a group causes the average person to eat 44 percent more calories than they normally would eating alone (Cooking Light, http://bit.ly/1QprICf).

1. Trim back the trimmings – As much as we enjoy going all out with decorating our homes and gift-giving during the holiday season, it may be best that we don’t go all out with our eating habits as well. It’s easy to always add more to your plate, but it can also add plenty to your waistline. Trim your calorie intake by being mindful of your portion sizes. You want to feel satisfied, not stuffed while at a holiday
party.Santa Hat

2. Water can be your best friend – Drinking at least eight ounces of water a day is the key. You will quench your thirst and feel just a little full. It’s a good idea to have water before and after a meal. You will feel less tempted to indulge more.

3. Choose low-calorie and healthy festive foods – Creamy dips and fried foods are festive calorie bombs, yet there are plenty of other party foods that are naturally low in calories. Instead of using chips for dips, go for the veggies that still give that “crunch factor” you
are craving. On a cheese tray, go for lower-calorie selection such as soft spreadable cheeses (goat cheese, feta crumbles, etc.). To guarantee there’s something healthy at the gathering, you can always bring a healthy option.

4. Always carry mints or gum when at a party – By popping in a mint or chewing on some gum, you won’t be feeling as tempted to go munch on the hor d’oeuvres. You’ll also have the freshest breath there!

5. Use a napkin – You really can’t put that much on a napkin or anything too heavy. A napkin is a great way to monitor portion out your food intake.