Eating Light Tip #6: Spoil Your Appetite
The right healthy snacks before dinner take the edge off your hunger, says Richter. Steer clear of fried finger foods, like egg rolls (220 calories each). Low calorie apps: crudités (31 calories per cup), shrimp cocktail (31 calories for four shrimp and sauce), chicken satay (90 calories for one skewer and sauce), and mozzarella and veggie skewers (141 calories each).
Eating Light Tip #7: Bring Your Own Healthy Food
Don’t know what your sister-in-law has on the menu? “Bring a dish so you’re guaranteed to have at least one healthy option,” says Krieger. One of her favorites: a green-and-red crudité plate. “I arrange sugar snap peas, blanched green beans, red pepper slices, and cherry tomatoes around a bowl of dip,” she says. “It looks like a holiday flower!”
Eating Light Tip #8: Dial Down the Volume
When it’s time to sit down to dinner, turn off the Christmas carols—or put on soft instrumental music. Researchers at Penn State University recently found that women who ate in a room with loud background noise consumed twice as many calories as those in a more peaceful environment.
Eating Light Tip #9: Choose Dips Wisely
Creamy dips like crab, artichoke, blue cheese, and French onion can pack 100 calories per scoop! Reach for hummus (25 calories per tablespoon) and salsa (4 calories per tablespoon) instead. Or make your own light version with this easy spinach dip recipe.
Eating Light Tip #10: Enjoy the Aroma of Food
A study from the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry suggests that smelling foods before you eat them can make you feel full. The scent can heighten the flavor, so you feel satisfied sooner, say experts. Plus, pausing between bites to take a whiff gives you time to gauge your hunger.