What the Ideal Party Plate Looks Like

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It may seem like an impossibility to hit the party circuit and not gain weight, but have faith — where there’s a will, there’s a way. Partaking in the festivities while practicing balance and moderation is the name of the game.

We’ve put together a sample of what a holiday party plate could like at 300, 400 and 500 calories, plus three low-calorie drinks to help you stay on track.

     

GENERAL PARTY TIPS

Follow these simple strategies for approaching a holiday party and thank us come January 2:

1. PERUSE, THEN CHOOSE

Make a lap around the food table to take quick inventory of what’s being served. Once you know what your options are, you can decide which foods you’ll actually enjoy and those you can easily do without. Try to balance splurge foods with healthier selections. This can save you tons of empty calories. It’s also a great way to stay in control of what you eat, without feeling restricted or deprived.

2. PLATE UP

Once you’ve decided what you’d like to eat, make sure you always use a plate. Snacking without a plate is a surefire way to lose track of how much you’ve eaten and eat more than you’re hungry for. Instead, use the illustrations above as a guide so you can build yourself a plate that fits within your calorie goals. Once you’ve created your plate, move away from the food table to avoid mindless nibbling.

3. SIP SMART

Drinks are an easy way to blow your calorie budget, so beware. Calories in cocktails can add up quickly (8 ounces of eggnog packs in nearly 250 calories and 7 grams of saturated fat), but that doesn’t mean you need to swear off alcohol completely. Stick to drinks that fall below 120 calories and then sip on sparkling water to keep the calories in check. Here are a few safe options:

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