1. Wear something tight. A figure-hugging dress or cropped top will make you more conscious of bloating, thus helping you avoid overeating at those Christmas parties and family reunions.
2. Bring something healthy. In potluck parties, chances are someone else will already bring the pasta and other fat- and carb-loaded dishes. Be that person who brings the salad, veggies, or any fiber-rich snacks. The other calorie-conscious guests will thank you for it.
3. Bottomless water. One of the biggest culprits to instant weight gain is drinking your calories. From powdered iced tea to soda and other sugary drinks, your refills are racking up more calories than a regular meal. Drink water instead.
4. Eat a fibrous meal before the party. Starving yourself before a big feast is a no-no. It slows down your metabolism and causes you to overeat. If you’re heading to those in-between feasts like brunch or afternoon merienda, eat a light snack that’s high in fiber to make you feel fuller and not tempt you to devour everything you see. If it’s a lunch or dinner party, make sure you’ve had a healthy breakfast or merienda prior to the party.
5. Increase your exercise. There’s truth to the adage, “You can’t out-exercise a bad diet,” but adding workouts (even just 10-20 minutes of brisk walking a day) to your routine can help reduce the stress that often comes with the holiday rush. It will also help burn the extra calories.
6. Exercise cheats. Don’t be the couch potato who watches TV and swipes her iPhone all night while everyone else is up and about preparing the feast. Move! Help your titas organize the buffet table, play games with your nieces, or run errands for your mom. When attending parties at commercial establishments, take the stairs instead of the elevator. Don’t feel bad if you end up parking blocks away because walking will make you burn extra calories.
7. Use small plates. By simply choosing a smaller plate, you unknowingly decrease your food intake. If you put a small serving of food on a big plate, your mind thinks you’re getting a small portion and tend to add more. But when you place the same amount on a small plate, your mind believes you’re taking a large portion and will stop adding food.
8. Track your food intake. Whether you’re listing down what you’re eating or are using calorie-counting apps, this trick helps keep your weight in check.
9. A few spoonfuls will suffice. You don’t have to completely deprive yourself of the feast. Go ahead and have a taste of everything, but keep it to a few spoonfuls per dish. It’s all about portion control.
10. Organize fun events. In lieu of your usual eat-all-you-can gatherings, do something that involves breaking a sweat. Organize dance-offs or Wii battles for your next clan reunion, biking or hiking trips with your family, or swimming parties with friends.