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Make the Most of Social Events With The Least Damage To Your Weight Loss Program

When you think of holiday get-togethers, what comes to mind? Lavish buffets laden with bacon-wrapped appetizers, breaded entrees, cheese-topped vegetables and decadent desserts? Bottomless cocktails? Endless eggnog?

The holiday season may be a tricky time of the year for people trying to stick to a diet and exercise plan. But just because tempting foods are present, you don't have to abandon all of the healthy habits you've learned so far. You can circumvent a diet disaster by planning ahead and sticking to your plan.

Here are some tips you might want to make part of your"social success strategy":

  • Don't arrive hungry — as this can undermine your ability to manage your portions. Drink a big glass of water (or two) before cocktail parties where hors d'oeuvres are being served.
  • Offer to be the designated driver so you can avoid high-calorie alcoholic drinks. And make your non-alcoholic drink look festive with a swizzle stick, umbrella, lemon twist, lime wedge or celery stick. Just because you aren't drinking alcohol doesn't mean you can't be festive!
  • Use a small plate to make portions appear larger.
  • Be the first in line at the buffet so you won't be influenced by others' choices that could throw you off of your diet plan. Try to"preview" all the offerings before making the best choice, and limit yourself to one trip.
  • Once done with your meal, position yourself on the side of the room away from the food table.
  • Focus on the social aspects of the party. Meet new people. Tell jokes. Learn a new dance step (who says dancing can't be part of your exercise routine?). Volunteer to take pictures, set up games and help the host in non-food ways.

Above all, keep in mind that holiday parties are people events at which food happens to be present - not the other way around!