How to be the Low-Calorie Life of the Party

by Karen Harris | Print This Page

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We’re in the homestretch.

The holidays are in full swing. That means that a long month of eating and drinking. And like a bad one-night stand, January 1 will arrive, bringing with it regret, remorse and a few extra pounds. How about changing that worn-out tune? This time around, end the year on a health(ier) note by sticking to these nibbles at your next bash. Just maybe, these goodies will be keepers.

As you choose your snacks, pick a small plate and only go for 4 or 5 items, keeping the calorie count to about 400. Making a small plate look full tricks your brain into thinking you’re eating more food.


Cheese & Crackers
If you’re the hostess:
Go for fiber-rich whole-wheat crackers and low-fat cheeses(cut into dice size).
If you’re the guest: Figure 5 crackers and1 ounce of cheddar (assume it’s full-fat) is a 112-calorie serving.

Shrimp Cocktail
If you’re the hostess: Shrimp plus cocktail sauce is one of the healthiest (virtually fat-free, high in protein, iron and lycopene) and least-calorie-laden apps you can serve.
If you’re the guest: 10 medium shrimp with 1 tablespoon of cocktail sauce equals 67 calories.

Mini Quiches
If you’re the hostess:
Despite the healthy veggies in here, all that cheese and phyllo add up. While, we’re not suggesting you don’t serve the one-bites, make sure you have a good selection of raw veggies to offset all this fat and calories.
If you’re the guest: It’s really tempting to cover your plate with these cuties, but limit yourself to two (100 calories). All the extra dough on each little morsel means added fat and calories you don’t need.

If you’re the hostess: Bowls of pretzels are perfect to have at the bar and placed around the living room. They’ll help fill up your guests so they don’t overeat later, plus help soak up the booze they’re sipping.
If you’re the guest: 7 regular or 12 mini pretzels have 107 calories. Munch these before filling up at the buffet.


If you’re the hostess: It’s the holidays, so you’ll probably have the bubbly. If you’re concerned about how much people are imbibing, you can limit the amount to a monitored glass for each guest, either during the ball drop or during a holiday toast.
If you’re the guest: Each glass is 91 calories, so you do the math. You can stretch out the festivities by adding zero-cal seltzer to create a spritzer, or just know that each full-strength glass will add up.

If you’re the hostess: Same as for the champagne. You can limit the amount you’re serving, or you can try these ideas. Offer seltzer so that guests can make spritzers or you can DIY it and have premade pitchers ready to pour.
If you’re the guest: A glass of red and a glass of white each have 125 calories. You can limit your intake or make spritzers with seltzer, which cuts the calorie count (and alcohol) in half.


Sugar cookies
If you’re the hostess: Not much you can do here, whether you lighten the recipe or not. Just stand back and enjoy everyone’s compliments.
If you’re the guest: Take one, just one, and walk away from the platter. It’s easy to get your sweet tooth on when drinking and making merry, but just know that each cookie packs 72 calories.

If you’re the hostess: You can trim the calories by putting out candy dishes with only dark chocolates in them. (Dark chocolate’s better for you anyway.)
If you’re the guest: One! That’s it! A good piece of chocolate is the capper to a nice glass of red wine. So pick out a truffle and go stand by the crudite platter.


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