11 Tips For Surviving Holiday Parties With Your Health (And Sanity) Intact Slideshow

Avoid Talking Politics

This was a tumultuous year for American politics. Avoid bringing up the election unless you're certain the person you're talking to shares similar views; even then, proceed with caution.  

Try not to offend anyone this season; here are 11 ways you didn't know you were being rude.

Be a Cocktail Counter

Alcohol is an inevitable component of holiday parties, but you'll want to manage your cocktail consumption — depending on who's hosting (and who's driving). Celebrating the season is fine, but going overboard on booze means hundreds of extra calories, a nasty hangover, and possibly some very embarrassing moments at the office the next day. 

If you are drinking this holiday season, click here for some crazy cocktails.

Bring a Healthy Dish

Are you fearful that there will be a lack of healthy dishes at the family holiday party? No problem, just make your own. Bringing a nutritious, low-cal appetizer or main dish to a holiday party is a perfect way to ensure that you will have something to snack on throughout the night... unless your edamame hummus is so good that people devour it within the first hour.

Click here for some delicious and healthy holiday appetizers.

Display Positive Body Language

Don't be huddled in the back corner or stuck on the sidelines like a wallflower. Exhibit openness with your body by standing upright with your arms and legs uncrossed. When talking to someone, look directly at him or her, be an active listener, and ask questions.  

Divide and Conquer —the Buffet

If you're ravenously hungry, but don't let the tantalizing sights and smells of your favorite holiday foods get the best of you. Bring balance to your plate by dividing it into thirds — one section each for carbohydrates, proteins, and vegetables. 

Drink Coffee

Caffeine is a stimulant, but it is also an appetite suppressant. Drinking a cup of coffee at the end of a meal can quell your appetite, making that extra helping of dessert look less and less appealing.

Coffee might be the ultimate weight-loss supplement; click here to read more.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep Beforehand

You will feel more alert and talkative at a holiday party if you get a good night's sleep the previous evening. Plus, research shows that a couple extra hours of sleep can reduce your next-day calorie intake. Do your best to get a full eight hours the night before a holiday party.

For foods that help you sleep, click here.  

Hit the Buffet Early

You might think all of that cheek-kissing and hand-shaking would be the source of disease-inducing bacteria, but the major source of illness might actually be the buffet. Food enters the danger zone of bacterial growth when it sits for any length of time at a temperature of between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, it's best to hit the buffet early before there's any risk of bacterial growth.

Click here for other holiday hazards to avoid.

Plan Your Holiday Diet

Don't let the thought of endless platters of bread, cured meats, dips, fried appetizers, and cheese balls put you in a pre-holiday party funk. Plan out your eating strategy ahead of time. Try dipping vegetables instead of crackers into fondue and hummus, or drink an extra glass of water instead of a cocktail to feel fuller.

Utilize the “3-Bite Rule”

Demolishing platters of cookies might seem like a good idea at the moment, but it often leads to regret the next day. Try to take only up to three bites (the size of the bite is up to you) of whatever dessert you want to taste. This allows you freedom to try a wider selection of holiday goodies. 

Wear Your Holiday Spirit

Don't stress too much over your holiday ensemble, but your outfit definitely says something about you. If you want to relax, wear something festive like a holiday sweater. If you're at an office holiday party and want to maintain a professional demeanor, keep it a bit more formal. Another tip when deciding on holiday attire is to wear form-fitting clothes. A tighter shirt or dress might help you eat less than if you were wearing, say, a pair of sweat pants.