'Tis the season for parties. But don't skip them just because you're trying to maintain or lose weight. Buffets and potlucks do not have to mean war on the waistline, according to Jennifer Kyser, registered dietitian, Norton Weight Management Center.
"Many people think they are doing a good thing by skipping meals before a party," Kyser said. "But starving is a setup for bingeing."
Instead, eat a light meal an hour before the party and stay well hydrated.
"Drinking at least eight 8-ounce glasses of noncaffeinated water-based liquids a day is crucial," Kyser said. "It's easy to mistake thirst for hunger."
Also try to increase activity. Even 20 to 30 minutes of extra activity will burn calories and help increase metabolism.
Tips to avoid overindulging at parties
Use a smaller plate, and first fill it with low-calorie fruits and veggies.
Limit calorie-dense appetizers and desserts. Instead, have bite-size samples.
Offset carbohydrates with protein. A couple of meatballs or a little ham or turkey can help you feel full sooner.
Put some distance between you and the buffet to avoid mindless grazing.
Monitor liquid calories. Punch and mixed drinks, alcoholic and nonalcoholic, can add hundreds of empty calories.
Don't beat yourself up. If you overeat, tomorrow's another day.
A fun way to shed those holiday calories
More than 5,000 area residents are members of Norton Healthcare's Get Healthy Walking Club. Why not join as a helpful boost to your exercise regimen? Members receive a Best Foot Forward Kit and access to Zoo Walkers, Mall Walkers and Path Walkers routes during designated walking hours, as well as invitations to periodic fitness presentations and health screenings. Join for free by calling (502) 629-1234. For walking times, routes and distances, visit NortonHealthcare.com/WalkingClub.
Want to know more?
Bringing a dish or throwing a party? Check out our Recipe Corner for a searchable database of healthy recipes.
Healthy Cooking: Pumpkin Pie
Norton Healthcare chef Jeff Massey prepares a healthy pumpkin pie.