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Noel noshing news

Before you belly up to the buffet know these strategies to avoid the holiday bulge.

Joan Westlake

HealthKey.com contributor

December 8, 2009

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Parties are "a plenty" so plan your battle for Noel noshing now and ring in the New Year in good health. Use these solid strategies for winning the war against calorie-groaning tables of temptation.

A small, protein-rich snack before you hit the party platters arms you by taking the edge off your appetite. Starving yourself before sets you up to binge. Take a long walk or get an extra workout in at the gym before the party so you'll have a jump on burning the calories you'll be consuming. Start with a big glass of water; make it sparkling to be festive. Then have your wine, beer or champagne. Follow each alcoholic beverage with water. Avoid skirmishing with calorie-bursting beverages such as eggnog with nearly 350 calories in a mere cup. Instead of wine, enjoy a wine spritzer and cut the calories in half with just 60 in a six-ounce goblet. Liquor such as vodka, whiskey and tequila have about 65 calories a shot but add mixers such as cranberry juice or tonic and you've upped the count to over 250. Look for diet mixers or add sparkling water and a squeeze of lime.