TIP OF THE WEEK

Worried about the number of calories lurking behind those party invites and family gatherings? With these tips from EatingWell.com, you can enjoy all the fun without any of the guilt.

Sleep well: Get at least seven hours of sleep the night before, and you’re more likely to make healthier choices the day of the party. A recent study found that after a short night’s sleep, adults ate approximately 300 extra calories and tended to choose higher-fat, higher-calorie foods.

Choose wisely: Choose your first snacking options wisely. Research suggests that you’ll consume the largest quantity of the foods you eat first, so start with healthy choices like fresh veggies and hummus.

Trick your brain: According to the Calorie Control Council, the average number of calories eaten at a holiday dinner — not counting pre-dinner snacking — is 3,000. Select a smaller plate to trick your brain into thinking you are eating more.

HOLIDAYS

5 tips for healthier holiday meals

With the joy and cheer of the holidays come extra snacks around the office, opportunities to feast ... and, yes, a few extra pounds. But with these tips from WebMD, you can limit the guilt without limiting the fun.

— Shift your goals: Rather than focus on losing weight, concentrate instead on maintaining your current weight.

— Avoid the cocktails: Alcohol can increase hunger. Choose sparkling water or low-calorie punch instead.

— Rethink desserts: Opt for chocolate-covered berries in place of more decadent treats.

— Replace heavier foods: Instead of pork chops in a mushroom cream sauce, for example, opt for grilled pork chops with mango salsa.

— Substitute low-fat ingredients: “Simple swaps of lower-fat ingredients are easy ways to save calories — and no one will even notice the difference,” says nutritionist Cheryl Forberg, RD.

OVEREATING

Tips to limit holiday party overdo

Holiday parties can be a healthful-eating challenge. Registered Dietitian Sarah Galicki offers tips for staying the course through the holidays.

— Eat first. Never go to a party hungry.

— Drink wisely. If you want to indulge a little bit, have some lower calorie champagne or white wine.

— Fill up on finger foods. Try a snack like pistachios — 49 have exactly 150 calories.

— Survey your options. Check out the entire buffet table before making your selections.

— Don’t be first in line. The food in a buffet line looks better in the beginning.

— Get a small plate. This trick helps limit portion size.

— Avoid the white stuff. Skip items like white rice, white pasta and white bread.

— Delight in dessert. Satisfy that sweet craving with some fresh fruit.

— Brandpoint

FOOD MYTHS

Drinking 8 glasses of water everyday

Although drinking plenty of water every day will help keep you hydrated, drinking eight glasses of water per day should be a guideline instead of goal. For years, some doctors have recommended that people should drink at least 64 ounces of water per day, but experts now say there is no uniform rule for how much water a person should drink. Because the body and mind can require more or less than the average recommendation of water on any given day, nutritionists suggest that you should calculate your body weight into ounces and then divide the ounces by half to give you a guideline of how much water to drink per day.

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