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Keep Holiday Parties from Getting the Best of You

Things Every Party Goer Should Consider Before a Night on the Town

New York City (December 17, 2012) – Holiday parties are the perfect way to wrap up the year, but all the food, drinks and fun can sometimes lead to bad choices, according to Montefiore Medical Center dietitian Lori Rosenthal, M.S., R.D.

“In a party atmosphere, we often throw the rule book out the window and treat ourselves more than usual,” Rosenthal says. “Even the most disciplined can let their guard down, filling up on food and drink and doing things that we later wish we hadn’t.”

Rosenthal offers the following survival tips to help party-goers enjoy holiday festivities and start 2013 on a healthy note:

Make smart decisions before you leave home. Hydrating beforehand can reduce the desire to eat and drink a lot later. Eating a healthy snack before heading out the door can help limit how many high-calorie holiday foods you will eat.

Scope out food options before diving in. Scan the buffet table first and then choose wisely. Using a smaller plate helps keep portions size down. And it’s proven that standing away from the table reduces the ease with which you can snack.

Know your number. Alternate between a glass of water and an alcoholic drink to help limit its effect, and sip cocktails slowly. Keep track of how many drinks you consume, or ask a friend to help monitor your alcohol intake.

Water is your best friend. Rehydration helps a post-party headache as well as counteracts the high-sodium party foods consumed the night before. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish or walnuts, have an anti-inflammatory effect, and eating potassium-rich fruits and vegetables like bananas, kiwis and mangos, help replenish electrolytes. If you choose a drink with electrolytes, try a sugar-free option to avoid excess calories.

“Holiday festivities are all about having fun, but we also should make good decisions about our health,” Rosenthal says. “Everyone should include taking good care of their health as a 2013 New Year’s resolution. Following these tips should help get you on the right track.”

Lori Rosenthal, M.S., R.D., C.D.N., is a bariatric dietitian at Montefiore Medical Center, where her experience has included working on both medicine and surgical units. Lori provides patients with counseling on topics including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and gastrointestinal disorders. She is also certified in weight management.

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