Abiding to a healthy nutrition plan can be challenging, but eating most meals at home makes it more manageable. Buying the right foods, counting calories and cooking your own meals are steadfast strategies to keep pounds at bay. What to do when the busy holiday season fills your social calendar? Being surrounded by tempting sweets and high-calorie foods tends to set even the most motivated people back. Keep in control with these survival tips!

Cocktail Party

You may think cocktail party hors d'oeuvres are so small they couldn't possibly hurt your diet, but you're wrong. Most cocktail party treats are incredibly high in calories for such a small portion, meaning you're adding up the calories without any of the satisfaction of feeling full. To keep from overindulging:

  • Do a walk-through and scope out the food selection when you arrive. Choose 1 or 2 indulgences and then only choose healthy foods. But first...
  • Sip on a zero-calorie beverage, such as sparkling water, for 10-15 minutes. Party guests usually start with the food as a social buffer, but this can lead to overdoing it. Likewise, if you go straight for a cocktail, you're more likely to overindulge.
  • Don't stand near the food. That's a lot of temptation!
  • For every cocktail or glass of wine, have a glass of water. This will keep you fuller longer and keep you from drinking too much.

Dinner Party

  • Don’t forget the veggies! Always order steamed vegetables or mixed greens as a side. Even if the restaurant does not offer steamed vegetables on the menu, ask. It's a request they're likely to fill.
  • Focus on lean protein, such as chicken, fish, lean cuts of beef, tofu, and tempeh.
  • Avoid cream-based soups and salad dressings. Remember to ask for your dressing on the side.
  • Avoid anything fried and ask for cheese on the side.
  • Just say no to the bread basket. Let the diners who want bread take a piece from waiter and then have the waiter take it away.
  • Limit yourself to one alcoholic beverage and enjoy slowly throughout dinner.

Planning ahead will help keep your weight in check during the holiday season.