Control Your Calories These Holidays

Control Your Calories These Holidays

While you enjoy celebrating with friends and family, the alcohol might start to loosen your determination to keep your calories in check. Then there are the snacks, plentiful and readily available, and often salty enough to fire up your thirst, which is then quenched with yet another drink.

Here are some tips to help you control your calories:

Snack before you go

With so much inexpensive, high-calorie food that’s often served up at holiday parties, the last thing you want to do is to arrive with an empty stomach. Have a high-protein snack late in the afternoon to tide you over until dinner.

Establish a limit

Know the number of calories you have to spend, and how you plan to spend them on your cocktails and appetizers.

Focus on the fun

If your holiday party is mainly focused on food and cocktails, it’s time to shift your attention to the quality time you’re having with your friends. Being sociable doesn’t require that you have a cocktail in your hand or a plateful of snacks in front of you.

Alternate your drinks

Once you’ve had one alcoholic beverage, switch to something that’s calorie-free, like some sparkling water, iced tea, or a diet soda with a twist. Some people feel that having a drink in hand makes them appear more sociable—but that doesn’t mean that the drink has to have alcohol or calories.

Choose appetizers carefully

The snacks and appetizers that are typically offered at holiday parties tend to be greasy, salty, and high-calorie. And since appetizers aren’t “plated up” like a meal, it makes it more difficult to keep track of how much you’ve eaten and how many calories you’ve put away.

Get acquainted with the calorie counts of typical party appetizers (see the list below). If you want to dig into the snacks, it’s best to ask your server for a small plate and portion out a few items for yourself. When your plate is empty, you’re done.

Check calories in your drinks

If you’re planning to drink alcohol, your lowest calorie choices are beer and wine. A bottle of light beer or glass of wine has around 100 calories—far and away from a better choice than many mixed drinks (see calorie chart below). That’s because hard alcohol has over 100 calories per shot, and the mixers and add-ins (sodas, fruit juices, syrups, and cream) can drive the calories sky high.