11 Tips for Surviving Holiday Parties With Your Health (and Sanity) Intact

Don’t let overeating or your in-laws ruin this year’s holiday celebrations

It’s best to hit the buffet early before there’s any risk of bacterial growth

Holiday parties are the pinnacle of winter festivities, but these seasonal extravaganzas can be stressful and exhausting. Whether it’s dealing with in-laws, having to watch your diet, or trying to have fun through a cold, holiday parties can be disruptive to your physical and mental well-being.

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The key is to approach holiday parties strategically. Your outfit and body language will make you more or less approachable, and striking up a conversation is the easiest way to avoid overeating — in theory, you can’t eat and talk at the same time, right? Get enough sleep the night before the party, too, because if you don’t then you’ll be more likely to consume more calories.

Most importantly, though: Plan ahead. Anticipate what food will be there and factor in the foods you really can’t live without to determine how much of everything else you should eat.

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Whether the party’s with co-workers, friends, or family, use these 11 tips to survive this year’s holiday party with your health and sanity intact.