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The Best, Proven Ways to Keep Off Holiday Party Pounds

We all know that holiday parties can detour your road to weight-loss progress: Here are my favorite smart ways to swerve around these diet disasters.


If it’s a party night, don’t let yourself think about it during the day

If you cut back by skipping breakfast or lunch, studies show you’ll eat more later. Also, you might get in the mindset that today is an “anything goes” day food-wise, which it isn’t. Don’t skip the gym, either.


Eat a filling snack before the party

An apple and two teaspoons of fiber-rich, protein-rich peanut butter is a good option. That ought to hold you once you get there. Here are 50 ways to have your healthiest holiday season ever.

istock/Katie Nesling

Pack a handful of almonds or a mini string cheese in your purse

In case you need a secret nibble during the party.


Know how you keep yourself out of the kitchen at home

Stand far away from the party kitchen, the all you can eat buffet, and the bar.

istock/Rawpixel Ltd

Chat, and socialize

That’s really the best way to have a great time without being distracted by food. Here are 31 other ways to avoid holiday weight gain.


Passed appetizers

I like to see what’s coming out of the kitchen first. If I really want something, I indulge in just one treat to satisfy my craving. Then I move on.

istock/Viktorija Kuprijanova

Zoom in on healthy, fat releasing nutrients at the buffet

Opt for fiber, vitamin C, calcium, protein, and dairy. The best way to eat these nutrients? Get friendly with the crunchy, satisfying veggie tray or fruit platter.


Wear your favorite outfit, the one that makes you feel fabulous

If you look good, you feel good! Don’t miss these 11 tricks for avoiding holiday belly bloat.

istock/Boris Yankov

Make the first round a seltzer with lemon

That vitamin C adds a little fat releasing burst, and the water will help fill you up. Then, if you want, you can indulge in a glass of something harder. Switch back to seltzer afterwards.


If you’re getting a pour, choose red wine

Red wine has resveratrol, which studies show releases fat and protects against obesity and weight gain.

istock/gordana jovanovic

Pass on the eggnog and other rich drinks

But you knew that. Here are the 14 foods nutritionists would never eat on Thanksgiving and other holidays.


Hold a clutch, a cell or a water glass to keep your hands and your brain busy

You can also hold your wine glass; savor it and sip all night.

istock/Rawpixel Ltd

Don’t taste test your recipes

Avoid taking too many nibbles and bites of your recipe-in-the-making. Doing so can actually lead to weight gain since you are consuming more calories.


Party with friends, and ask them to help you keep your nibbling in check

Or just ask them to make you laugh. Studies show laughing hard for long enough does burn calories equal to a quick session at the gym.


Keep moving

Mingling will introduce you to new connections and help you fidget off some extra calories.



Even if there’s no space to do so, crank up the tunes and let loose for extra burn. Next, check out these 20 ways to beat the post-holiday weight gain.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest

Liz Vaccariello
Liz Vaccariello is the Editor-in-Chief of Parents magazine, the 2.2 million rate-base title. In addition, she is currently the Group Editorial Director for Parents Latina and Meredith's lifestyle titles including Shape, Real Simple, InStyle, Martha Stewart Living, and Health. Vaccariello has led many of the media industry's most recognizable brands, developing content across print, digital and social channels. Prior to joining Meredith, Vaccariello held numerous executive editorial roles including serving as the Chief Content Officer for Reader's Digest. She has also served as Editor-in-Chief of Rachael Ray Every Day; Editor-in-Chief of Prevention; Executive Editor of Fitness; and Editor-in-Chief of Cleveland Magazine. Vaccariello regularly appears on national broadcast media including The Today Show, CBS This Morning, Good Morning America, and Dr. Oz. She is the author of nine best-selling books, including the #1 New York Times bestselling Flat Belly Diet! She has received numerous awards and honors over her distinguished career and is a frequent speaker at major summits presented by the MPA, Folio, MIN, and Digiday among others. Vaccariello, who is the parent of twin daughters, earned a BA in Communications with Distinction from the University of Michigan and lives in New Jersey with her family.