In the December issue of Best Health, our registered dietitian columnist Sue Mah put together some excellent tips for navigating the holiday events and their appetizer trays and buffet tables. A big part of it, she says, is eating mindfully ‘ that is, really taking time to focus on what you eat, and more importantly, how you eat. Here are a few ways.

1. Do a walkabout
Before you even put a single piece of food on your plate, take a stroll around the buffet table and check out all of the options. Mentally classify them as ‘must try’ or ‘can do without them today.’ On your plate, put a few bites of a small portion of the ‘must try’ foods ‘ making sure there are two types of vegetables ‘ plus one ‘must try’ dessert.

2. Chat
After your first plate of food, you may feel like going back for seconds. Instead, sit back and take a planned break to catch up with friends. It takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain you’re full. After 20 minutes, ask yourself if you’re really still hungry.

3. Keep your distance
Avoid standing near the party nibbles unless you have incredible willpower. When food is easily within reach, chances are you’ll pick up a bite or two, or three.

Let’s say that two hors-d’oeuvres have 100 calories. By the time you’ve eaten a few, you have had the equivalent of a small meal.

Get 5 more tips in the December issue of Best Health, on newsstands now. And find our roundup of actual-size party snacks, along with their calories and fat grams. It may just help you get through party season with no added pounds. For example, can you guess what’s in one of those mini quiches?

A. 50 calories and 1 gram of fat.
B. 65 calories and 3 grams of fat.
C. 80 calories and 6 grams of fat.

The answer is C. Those little party snacks can really add up.

• To claim your free issue of Best Health, go to besthealthmag.ca/metronews

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