4 Tips to Prevent Overindulging at Holiday Parties

holiday party food

With the holiday season upon us, eating healthfully probably isn't the first thing on your mind. If you're like many people, Thanksgiving marks the start of a string of fun festivities that make it easy to overindulge. While the majority of our clients admit they don't expect to lose weight, and plan to give themselves the license to indulge more than usual this time of year, they also would like to maintain their weight with as little effort as possible.

Here are some tried-and-true tips that we give our clients, which they tell us have been helpful in keeping them on track without having to spend too much time thinking about it.

1. Arrive at the event feeling satisfied. Although it's tempting to save the calories for the bigger meal, skipping meals backfires and results in consuming excessive calories at festivities--far more than you would have consumed had you eaten the previous meals. There is less room in your stomach for extra junk when you're stuffed with healthy fare. Plus, when you're full, you're less likely to focus on food in the first place. Eat regular meals and be sure to include veggies and fruits, which will prevent your stomach from grumbling and keep your blood-sugar levels stable without adding too many calories.

It's not unusual for a client to come to us between work and their holiday cocktail parties. To prevent being hungry when they arrive at their party, we have them stop before the party and pick up a hot tea or a decaf coffee and, when possible, some cut up veggies from a local store. This takes the edge off hunger and they can avoid sampling too many appetizers (usually some of the highest-calorie items at the party) due to a gnawing stomach; plus, they can focus on socializing rather than eating.

2. Use our "every other rule" with alcohol. Alcohol increases hunger and it lowers inhibitions. So it makes you want to eat more while also caring less about doing it--plus it's high in calories. Swap every other drink with a non-caloric beverage. Start with seltzer, iced green tea or water with lime to fill your stomach--and set limits in advance regarding much alcohol you will drink.

Your best bets? Prosecco. Otherwise, go for one small glass (5 ounces) of wine (make it a wine spritzer by adding seltzer to thin out the calories even more) or a light beer in a can or bottle (100 calories).

For hard alcohol, a portion is 1-1/2 ounces, which is the size in a shot glass and contains 120 calories, the same amount of calories in a 5-ounce glass of wine. Many big wine glasses give you 10 ounces of wine, which

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