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The holidays are in full swing, and with the holidays come the parties. Is your calendar maxed out daily? How are you going to make it through the next few weeks without putting on the pounds?  Follow these tips and you are sure to make it through the season with your waistline intact.

Eat before you go. Eat a healthy, low calorie snack before heading out to the party. Try a pack of almonds or Greek yogurt. For more ideas, check out Slim Down with 30 Days of Healthy Snacks.

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Wear tight fitting clothes. Keep your skirt or pants on the tighter side or give a belt a try.  You will be less inclined to eat too much if your clothes are on the snug side.

Bring a healthy dish. When asked to bring an appetizer or side, choose a healthy low calorie option. Skinny Mom has a variety of recipes to try.  Below are a few favorites.

Skinny Mozzarella Bites

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Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

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Cucumber and Cream Cheese Sandwiches

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Start with water. When you arrive at the party, start with a glass of water and be last in line at the buffet table.  Food tends to lose its “yum” factor after people have been digging into it.

Grab a small plate & keep it colorful. Use a dessert or salad plate and do not stack food like a tower.  Stray away from dips and sauces which are typically heavy in calories. Keep your plate bright and colorful, avoiding the dull colored food that is typically less nutrient-dense.

Pick one dessert. Go ahead and grab your favorite desert.  For most, it’s unrealistic to deprive yourself this time of year so don’t try.  Take your time and really enjoy it. My best piece of advice for the dessert topic is to make a delicious skinny version and bring for all to enjoy. Here are 43 skinny desserts we’re thankful for. Trust us, the other guests will be, too!

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Be social and keep busy. Sit or stand far away from the food table.  Be social. You’ll have more fun, plus you will be less inclined to head back to the food table if you are busy talking.

What are your best holiday food defenses? Share your great ideas with us in the comments below!