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Ask the dietitian: Holiday party strategy can keep extra pounds away

11:03 PM, Nov. 28, 2012  |  Comments
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Question: The holidays are fast approaching. Along with the holidays come work parties and family gatherings. It seems like every year, the only time I gain weight is between Halloween and New Year's. When I go to my work parties and family gatherings this holiday season, what can I do to stop adding on the extra pounds?

Answer: This is the time of year where most of us are guilty of indulging on our favorite "forbidden" foods. We all have them. The key is not to indulge too much. Try following some of the tips below at your next holiday party to help prevent adding on those extra pounds.

? Arrive at the party with something in your stomach. I'm sure most of us have tried to go all day without eating, with the intent to save up our calories for an evening party. Instead, have a small snack before you leave for the party. By waiting all day to eat, you are only setting yourself up for overeating later in the day.

? Keep a distance between yourself and the snack table. You might not realize it, but the closer you stand to a bowl of potato chips, the more likely you are to snack on them. Instead, try a small handful of potato chips with a spoonful of dip, and then walk away from the table. Find someone who is not standing directly next to the snack table to talk with.

? Check out the buffet before you get in line. This is a scenario I am sure most of us are familiar with. We get in line for the buffet, and we can't make up our mind on what to eat, so we try "a little bit of everything." Before we know it, our plate is heaping full and we are trying to carefully maneuver back to our table without losing a meatball. Instead, look over the buffet table before you get in line. Find out what you really want to eat and choose those items. This way, you can hold off on adding extra items to your plate as you go through the line.

? Bring a healthy snack to your next holiday party. Here is your chance to set the standard for next year's holiday party. Simple dishes such as a vegetable platter with hummus, or dried fruit trail mix can be the highlight of any party. Search through your recipe books or go online to find some easy, tasty and healthy snacks you can share with your family and friends.

Sarah Lynch is a registered dietitian at Ministry Saint Clare's Hospital in Weston.

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