Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images, St. Martin's Press
With all of the holiday parties coming up, we know we're not the only ones who are worried about our waistlines.
So, when we got together with Janice Min, author of How to Look Hot in a Minivan: A Real Woman's Guide to Losing Weight, Looking Great, and Dressing Chic in the Age of the Celebrity Mom, we asked her to share some survival tips for the season of eating.
Here's what she had to say:
Eat Before Going Out: Before heading out to a holiday party or New Year's bash, you are much less likely to stuff yourself on the bad stuff at the buffet or off the hors d'oeuvres tray. Celebrity nutritionists say to never go out starving you'll just overeat.
Downsize Your Dishware: There's truth to the notion that your eyes are sometimes bigger than for stomach. Studies show that people tend to consume more food when eating off larger plates or out of larger bowls.
Go for Spicy Foods: Capasicin, the active component in chili peppers, creates a burning sensation when it comes into contact with human tissues. The heat generated by eating spicy foods triggers a temporary boost in your metabolic rate, probably not enough to burn more calories, but enough to briefly suppress your appetite, according to recent research. "Spicy foods make you feel fuller, and therefore you consume less actual food," says celebrity nutritionist Tanya Zuckerbrot.
Cut Your Drink Calories: Those frothy coffee drinks taste great when it's cold but destroy your diet. Starbucks' Double Chocolatey Chip Frappuccino contains 580 calories. Have a grande caffe latte with skim milk instead at 130 calories. When it comes to alcohol, eggnog drinks, hot toddies, and other seasonal drinks are calorie bombs. Even that casual margarita contains 550 calories. Stick to a glass of chardonnay or cabernet sauvignon at 90 calories each, or a gin and diet tonic at 65 calories. And when it comes to toasting the New Year, champagne is your best choice at 90 calories a glass. A single shot of vodka with club soda or Sprite Zero has just 65 calories.
Follow the Three-Bite Rule: When it comes to desserts, studies show that people always rate the first and last bites as the best. "Three bites give you a first, middle and last, which is all you need to appreciate a sweet treat," says Zuckerbrot.
Skip the Starch: Many entrees when eating out come with a side of pasta, rice or a baked potato as well as a vegetable. Ask for a double portion of vegetables instead.
Never Eat Straight From the Carton: Celebrity nutritionist Keri Glassman says putting your food on a plate will help you visualize how much you're really eating. It's too easy to overeat if you're munching mindlessly from a bag of chips or eating straight from the take-out box.
Have a Cup of Tea or Glass of Water With Every Meal: It will help you fill up, as well as help you eat more slowly.
Brush Your Teeth: The morning and night brush-and-floss routine signals to your body that you're finished eating. Plus orange juice, and just about all other foods, taste terrible once you've brushed.
Janice Min is the editorial director of The Hollywood Reporter and former editor-in-chief of Us Weekly. How to Look Hot in a Minivan is on sale now.