Holiday parties don't have to derail your weight-loss efforts, especially if you play the role of host. So plan a festive get-together for family and friends, using some of our they-won't-believe-these-are-Weight-Watchers-recipes, below, and you can indulge with the rest of the crowd. And if the party's not at your place, don't worry: Here are some tips that'll keep you in tip-top shape well past the New Year.
If you're not sure of a food's SmartPoints values, ask. "That innocent-looking mushroom might be stuffed with bacon and cheese and swimming in butter sauce. A simple 'That looks wonderful — what's in it?' to the hostess will solve the mystery," says Sheila Kelly, MS, RD, former director of product research and development for WeightWatchers.com.
Situate yourself away from the tray of hors d'oeuvres and that bowl of cocktail nuts. If you can't reach out and touch them, you're in the safe zone. Also try out this tip: hold a purse in one hand so that your other one can hold a plate or a drink — not both.
"Drinking too much can make you susceptible to overeating," warns Kelly. So keep your intake light by alternating alcoholic beverages with soda or water. And when you do drink, try something a bit more low-cal, like a wine or Champagne spritzer or light beer.
Start with an almost-full belly
Make sure you don't end up eating more than you planned to by filling up on a high-fibre snack before a party. Try a fruit salad or some carrots and bean dip. After all, empty stomachs sometimes result in full plates.
You can bake yourself gingerbread any time of the year. So when it comes to holiday-related eating, it's not now or never. Choose the foods you truly love and the ones you'd never make.
Can't wait to have greasy potato latkes or a few gingerbread men? Then save some of your weekly SmartPoints allowance for them. Be a smart spender, though, and check the values for standard holiday foods before you take a bite. If they're not good values, "steer clear of them on the buffet table," Kelly advises.
Play assistant chef and volunteer to make some healthy snacks. Bring several low-calorie dips to the party so you know you have something to nosh.