When you're doing the party thing, don't overdo TO YOUR HEALTH


December 22, 1992|By Colleen Pierre, R.D. | Colleen Pierre, R.D.,Contributing Writer

Want to really enjoy the parties this year?

Eat the food you love.

Want to enjoy the parties and control your weight?

Eat the food you love and skip the rest.

Be a gourmet, not a gourmand. You don't have to eat the whole thing to have a good time. For maximum pleasure, heed your guidelines.

* Set your own goals: Calories are the currency you use to buy the food pleasure you seek. If you want to enjoy and stay slim, invest your calories in foods you love, especially once-a-year treats.

* Choose the very best: Be a wise investor. Evaluate offerings and select only foods that truly make your mouth water. These are a bargain because they're "worth the calories."

* Enjoy quality, not quantity. Give delicious food your undivided attention. Treasure every morsel.

* Reject failure: Don't throw good calories after bad. Food can look good but fall flat. When food fails you, don't finish.

* Have just enough: Even the finest food fades after a while. Taste buds tire and pleasure passes. Stop eating when flavor falters. Save those calories for something else.

* Feel "satisfied": Often, feeling "full" means bloated, queasy or uncomfortable. Where's the pleasure in that? Seek sweet satisfaction. Stop early before you're stuffed. Bank those calories for another time.

* Forgo guilt: Eating to ease your host's feelings fattens your fanny without pleasing your palate. Forget the clean plate club. Practice gracious escape lines like, "That was so rich, just a few bites are enough."

* Waist not: If you've doggie-bagged goodies you really don't want, throw them away. Day-old treats turned soggy or stale are bargain-basement goods with a high calorie price tag.

* Eat normally: Between events, eat regular, well-balanced meals. You'll keep nutrition up and calories stable, and prevent party pigouts that squander your savings on tasteless treats.

* Exercise regularly: Don't shortchange yourself because busyness limits your time and energy. Reduce the length or frequency of your workouts, but don't throw in the towel. After the holidays, resuming speed is easier than starting over.

Colleen Pierre, a registered dietitian, is the nutrition consultant to the Union Memorial Sports Medicine Center in Baltimore.

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