How to Eat Smart at Holiday Parties

Skip the goodies? We don't think so. Here's how to celebrate the season without depriving yourself—or overindulging.

Holiday party cheese plate
  1. Smart Start: When appetizers make the rounds, opt for one you're really craving, even if it seems indulgent. A few scrumptious bites of something you love—mmm, bacon-wrapped scallops—will satisfy your munchies and set you up for a sane meal. If you spend the cocktail hour choking down celery sticks, your willpower will shrivel during the main course.
  2. Meal Plan: Most holiday gatherings have enough food to feed a small nation. Your first step? Forget the idea of sampling everything—the more variety on your plate, the more likely you are to overeat. Instead, choose a few special dishes to savor. Round out your meal with light, nutritious fare such as baked squash and roasted carrots.
  3. Sweet Talk: People tend to dish out bigger portions to others than to themselves—fine for salad, but a problem with pie. Offer to slice your own sliver, and keep it to 1½ inches at the crust end. If you're handed a supersize serving, split it with a tablemate.

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