The Best, Proven Ways to Keep Off Holiday Party Pounds

We all know that holiday parties can detour your road to weight-loss progress: Here are my favorite smart ways to swerve around these diet disasters.

By Liz Vaccariello with Perri O. Blumberg

1. If it's a party night, don't let yourself think about it during the day.

If you cut back by skipping breakfast or lunch, studies show you'll eat more later. Also, you might get in the mindset that today is an "anything goes" day food-wise, which it isn't. Don't skip the gym, either.

2. Eat a filling snack before the party, like an apple and two teaspoons of fiber-rich, protein-rich peanut butter.

That ought to hold you once you get there.

3. Pack a handful of almonds or a mini string cheese in your purse.

In case you need a secret nibble during the party.

4. Know how you keep yourself out of the kitchen at home?

Stand far away from the party kitchen, the buffet, and the bar.

5. Chat, and socialize!

That's really the best way to have a great time without being distracted by food.

6. Passed appetizers?

I like to see what's coming out of the kitchen first. If I really want something, I indulge in just one treat to satisfy my craving. Then I move on. 

7. Zoom in on these healthy, fat releasing nutrients at the buffet: fiber, vitamin C, calcium, protein and dairy.

Best way? Get friendly with the crunchy, satisfying veggie tray or fruit platter. 

8. Wear your favorite outfit, the one that makes you feel fabulous.

If you look good, you feel good! 

9. Make the first round a seltzer with lemon.

That vitamin C adds a little fat releasing burst, and the water will help fill you up. Then, if you want, you can indulge in a glass of something harder. Switch back to seltzer afterwards. 

10. If you're getting a pour, choose red wine.

Red wine has resveratrol, which studies show releases fat and protects against obesity and weight gain.

11. Pass on the eggnog and other rich drinks.

But you knew that.

12. Hold a clutch, a cell or a water glass to keep your hands and your brain busy.

You can also hold your wine glass; savor it and sip all night. 

13. Pick the smallest size plate at the buffet.

According the Food and Brand Lab, a non-profit research facility at Cornell University, eating off a 10-inch dish instead of a 12-inch one can help you slash calorie consumption by 22 percent.  

14. Party with friends, and ask them to help you keep your nibbling in check.

Or just ask them to make you laugh. Studies show laughing hard for long enough does burn calories equal to a quick session at the gym. 

15. Keep moving.

Mingling will introduce you to new connections and help you fidget off some extra calories.

16. Dance!

Even if there's no space to do so, crank up the tunes and let loose for extra burn.

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