DSC_0051 Be selective during the holidays. Decide to attend only the most valuable parties; you don’t have to say “yes” to every invitation. Once you’re in the door, sample foods that are special or unique to the holidays and bypass the everyday goodies. You can eat a handful of nuts or a chocolate chip cookie anytime, but a thin slice of pumpkin pie or a special appetizer only comes around once a year. Here are a few ideas:

It’s the first bite that counts; after the fifth Christmas cookie or the fourth gulp of egg nog, they all taste the same. So, take a sample, don’t pig out, and savor the flavor and the company.

Decide before the party, exactly what you will and won’t do, then stick with it. For example, faced with the prospect of a cocktail party, plan to taste 5 interesting hors d’oeuvres while munching mostly on the raw vegetables and fresh fruit. Or, eat whatever you want, but serve half your typical portion.

Plan ahead to side step stumbling blocks, i.e., stand somewhere other than by the buffet table, visit with people who are not eating, and cover your plate with your napkin to signal you’re done.

Listen to your body and eat when you’re hungry, not because the food is there or other people are eating. Eat slowly and stop when you are comfortably full.

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