13 Tips for Calorie Control on New Year’s Eve
Are you trying to control calorie intake? As the temperature starts to cool off, New Year’s Eve is right around the corner. Traditionally, New Year’s Eve is a time to get together with family members, friends and have fun. Therefore, it is easy to understand that many people lose track of what they eat and drink during the evening. If you are trying to lose weight, you need to practice good calorie awareness even during the party. That way, you can achieve successful weight control even as you ring in the New Year. Take a look at a few of the top tips below that you can follow to place yourself in the best position to control calorie intake during the upcoming New Year’s Eve celebration!
Stay Away from Empty, Liquid Calories at the Party, Such as Soda and Punch
When it comes to your diet, drinks are probably a forgotten source of calories. Because drinks are not as filling as meals, many people do not realize the caloric intake that they pack. For example, a single 16 oz bottle of Coca-Cola includes close to 44 grams of sugar and nearly 200 calories! This means that if you drink a single bottle of coke, you have already consumed 10 percent of your daily recommended intake of calories, assuming that you are trying to stick to 2000 calories per day! Most other soft drinks have similar sugar and calorie content to Coca-Cola.
Also, drinks sweetened with sugar, such as soda, have been linked in medical studies to obesity, according to Obesity Reviews. Individuals who develop obesity place themselves at risk of developing numerous medical complications.
Another medical study in the journal Appetite indicated that drinking a lot of sugar-sweetened beverages can even make you hungrier later on, in addition to driving up your calorie intake.
It is easy to target sodas because they contain so many calories and so much sugar; however, you may not realize that other drinks at parties have a tremendous amount of calories. For example, many of the mixers used to make alcoholic drinks and cocktails are also packed with a tremendous amount of sugar and calories making it hard to control calorie intake. For instance, grenadine, creme de menthe, and triple sec all contain a significant amount of sugar and calories even in a single shot. Beer is another common source of empty calories, particularly microbrews.
With all of this in mind, everyone must read the nutrition facts before picking up a drink at a party if they are available. When in doubt, stick to water or diet drinks instead. When it comes to alcohol, think about mixing liquor, such as vodka, with a diet soda. This is a great way to limit calories and sugar content while still enjoying an adult beverage.
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Serve the Party Food on Smaller Plates
In addition to thinking about liquid calories, it is also critical to practice reasonable portion control. When it comes to practicing portion control, it is an excellent idea to serve the party food on smaller plates. For example, one study showed that dinner plates today, on average, are close to 50 percent larger than they were in the 1980s. Because most people are raised being taught to clean their plates, it should come as no surprise that people continue to finish all of the food on their plates even if they are substantially larger than they were in the 1980s. As a result, people are consuming way more calories than they used to, explaining why the country struggles with an obesity epidemic today.
Therefore, you should think about serving party food on smaller plates if you would like to practice good portion control. In addition to the fact that plates are larger than they were in the 1980s, numerous medical studies have consistently linked larger plates to larger serving sizes. Therefore, people are far more likely to overeat.
A single medical study found that individuals who had large dinner plates at a buffet ate close to 50 percent more food than individuals who used smaller plate sizes. Therefore, it’s evident that using a smaller plate can go a long way to curbing overeating.
Finally, if you eat with smaller plates at a New Year’s Eve party, you give your stomach more time to digest the food. Therefore, you are more likely to feel full because your body has time to process the nutrients you are consuming, sending signals to your stomach to stop eating. Using smaller plates is an essential part of calorie control, particularly at parties.
Drink Plenty of Water Throughout the Evening
When you go to a New Year’s Eve party, you need to make sure that you drink plenty of water along with whatever else you are consuming. There are several reasons why you need to make sure that you drink water regularly.
First, if you are consuming adult beverages, you need to make sure that you drink water to prevent a hangover. As you consume alcoholic drinks, your brain is going to start to get dehydrated. Therefore, you need to replace this hydration loss by drinking water throughout the evening. Alcohol is a diuretic. That is why sporting events traditionally have long lines for the bathroom, with many people regularly going (following beer consumption). If you drink alcohol, you are going to urinate more. You need to replace this fluid loss by drinking water throughout the evening.
Second, drinking water is also a critical part of portion and calorie control. If you drink water before a meal, multiple medical studies have shown that this might help you feel more satiated. As a result, you are more likely to consume fewer calories. Filling up with water before the meal will help you curb your appetite.
For example, one study alone found drinking two cups of water (approximately 0.5 L) before a meal reduced calorie intake by more than 10 percent. Even a 10 percent reduction in calorie intake per day, on average, can translate into significant weight loss over a prolonged period.
If you space out water throughout the evening, you are more likely to alternate one alcoholic beverage with a non-alcoholic beverage. This is a great way to control your calorie intake from alcohol as well. Therefore, go into a New Year’s Eve party this year with the goal to consume one cup of water, on average, per hour. There is a good chance that this will help you control your calorie and alcohol intake during the evening. As a result, you will wake up in the morning feeling refreshed and proud of your portion control during the night before.
Limit Yourself to 1 Drink and 1 Snack Per Hour
It is hard to stick to a diet. There is nothing wrong with having a good time; however, if you have the goal of sticking to your calorie control even amidst the party and celebrations, you need to know how you will tackle the situation.
A great goal to have at a New Year’s Eve party is to limit yourself to one alcoholic beverage and one snack per hour. For example, during the first hour, you might have a vodka mixed with club soda and a plate of fresh fruit. Then, during the next hour, you might have a plate of chicken tenders along with a rum and Diet Coke. In between, you should allow yourself to drink a cup of water. This will help you feel full. There are several reasons why you should space out your drinks and snacks in this manner. Some of the most important reasons to keep in mind include:
- When you space your drinks, you are less likely to feel hungover in the morning.
- When you space your drinks and snacks, you give your body a chance to feel full in between your plates.
- By pacing your drinks and snacks, you also give your body a chance to consume plenty of water, which is a critical part of controlling your portions in addition to rehydrating yourself following adult beverages.
To achieve dietary success at New Year’s Eve parties, you need to enter the party with a plan. Set a realistic goal for yourself by limiting yourself to one drink and one snack per hour. Remember to try to reach for healthier drinks and snacks and make sure that you stick to your diet guidelines.
Reach for the Cooked Food, Not the Packaged Food
At a New Year’s Eve party, there will be plenty of options for food and drinks. There’s a good chance that multiple people have contributed to the snacks and beverages being put out. Some people are great cooks and might have taken the time to prepare plenty of fancy hors d’oeuvres. On the other hand, some people simply do not have the time or skill to cook something for the party. They may have picked something up at the store on the way in.
To cut calories at a New Year’s Eve party, it is always better to reach for the cooked food, not the packaged food. When you buy food that has been prepared by a chain or a grocery store, you don’t always know what’s in it. Furthermore, many stores pack their food with a tremendous amount of sugar and salt to taste better and last longer, making it extremely unhealthy. Even if you see something that appears to be healthy, if it came from the store, take the time to read the nutrition facts before you open it. There is a good chance that the dish contains a lot of hidden sugars and fat. This can significantly drive up the calorie content.
The reality is that when someone has cooked something fresh for the New Year’s Eve party, they have probably taken a lot of time to make sure they did not put too much butter, salt, or sugar into the dish. Therefore, there is a lot more control over the number of calories you consume if you eat something cooked instead of something pre-packaged.
Keep an eye on people as they arrive. See what they put out. Look for fresh fruits and vegetables, appetizers sitting in crock pots, and anything else that looks like someone at the party cooked it. If you happen to know that someone at the party is an excellent cook, do not hesitate to ask them what they brought! There is a good chance they are going to feel complimented by someone liking their food.
Make a Plan Ahead of Time and Stick To It
If you do not arrive at the New Year’s Eve party with a plan to control calorie intake, you will have a hard time sticking to your diet guidelines. Therefore, take the time to sit down ahead of the party. Write out the guidelines of your diet. See how many calories you can consume at the party and still stick to your diet.
After this, come up with a plan for how you will stick with it throughout the party. There are plenty of ways to attack this. Some of the tips for sticking to diet while spending time at a party include:
- Write out everything that you are going to allow yourself to eat and drink.
- Take the time to write a list of everything you will stay away from at the party.
- See if you can convince someone to keep an eye on you at the party, holding you accountable to your plan.
- Set a time after which you are no longer going to eat or drink anything.
- Try to download an app for your mobile phone that you can use to track everything that you eat and drink at the party.
No plan is foolproof; however, if you take the time and effort to write out a plan control calorie intake ahead of time, you are more likely to stick to it because you have invested a lot into that plan. If you do not go to the party with a plan, you will probably deviate wildly, missing your mark by a long shot. Therefore, take a few minutes before the party and come up with a plan of action. That way, you maximize your chances of being successful.
Reach for the Dip with Vegetables, Not Chips
The vast majority of people do not eat enough vegetables. Furthermore, one study estimated that close to 87 percent of all individuals in the United States do not eat the recommended daily amount of vegetables. Vegetables are packed with a tremendous number of vitamins and minerals. Some of the standard vitamins and minerals found in vegetables include:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Folate (folic acid)
- Vitamin B1, B2, and B6
Besides, vegetables are also a great way to cut back on your calories. Make a goal at the party to fill half of every plate with vegetables. Then, when you reach for those delicious dips that are put out at the party, try to dip vegetables instead of chips. It should go without saying that chips are usually packed with salt, carbohydrates, and oil that will drive up your calorie count in a hurry. Furthermore, the average chip is significantly smaller than a vegetable. Therefore, you will fill up more quickly if you eat vegetables, even though you consume fewer calories. The majority of every vegetable is made with water, so their caloric content is so low.
Finally, when deciding which dips to go with at the party, try to reach for hummus instead of mayonnaise-based creamy dips to control calorie intake. There are plenty of hummus varieties that you can choose from to add a bit of variety to the evening. For example, many hummus party plates have spicy hummus, garlic hummus, and roasted red pepper hummus. Try to stay away from anything that looks like it has oil or grease in it, as this is probably packed with carbs and fats that will also drive up your calorie content.
One of the things you’ll learn on the Noom eating program is that vegetables hold more water, so when you skip the chips and eat vegetables instead, you feel fuller, sooner with fewer calories. Learn tips like this and more with Noom’s free trial offer.
Don’t Eat Food with Creamy Dressing on It
When you attend a party, there is a good chance that there will be a serving dish that has plenty of delicious-looking salad in it. Then, there are probably going to be multiple bowls put out filled with different types of dressing with ladles. These bowls are probably not going to have any nutrition facts in front of them. Therefore, it can be hard for you to figure out precisely what you are eating. Even though salad is encouraged in virtually any diet, the dressing is where all of the calories come from. Therefore, you need to think carefully about which dressing you are going to use.
The one dressing you need to make sure that you stay away from to control calorie intake is creamy dressing. Ranch dressing is packed with a significant number of ingredients that will lead to serious issues for your diet. Because of the heavy cream and mayonnaise that is often included in ranch dressing, there are many fats, oils, carbohydrates, and other ingredients that are going to derail your diet quickly. Furthermore, creamy dressing is also packed with numerous calories that will use up your party quota quickly. Even a modest portion of ranch dressing could be filled with more than 100 calories.
The good news is that there are alternatives that you can reach for instead. For example, think about going for a balsamic or strawberry vinaigrette. These dressings taste every bit as good as ranch dressing yet have a fraction of the caloric content. Also, they are probably going to have way fewer grams of sugar, carbohydrates, and fats. Therefore, don’t just think about the food you are eating but think about the dressing. The dressing is a common area where diets fail.
Stick with Lower-Calorie Adult Beverages at the Party
One often overlooked source of calories, particularly at parties, is adult beverages. One of the side effects of alcohol intake is that people ease their judgment and inhibitions making it easier to forget all about how to control calorie intake. Therefore, try to go into the party with a plan for how you will tackle your adult beverages. That way, you don’t get carried away and consume multiple alcoholic beverages in a single hour.
First, try to stay away from adult beverages that have a lot of calories in them. Some of the typical adult beverages packed with calories include:
- Beer, particularly microbrew beer, is packed with calories, so be sure to limit your beer drinking. If you would like to drink beer, reach for a light beer instead, as this has a fraction of the calories contained in microbrewed beers, particularly wheat beer.
- Another adult beverage that is packed with calories is schnapps. There is plenty of schnapps out there, and they are a common sight at New Year’s Eve parties. Remember that you were going to have a choice when it comes to your adult beverages, so stay away from schnapps.
Even though schnapps is only about 30 proof alcohol, they all have a tremendous amount of added sugar, meaning that it is not unusual to see a single shot of schnapps pack close to 200 calories. Stay away from schnapps. They simply aren’t worth the calories.
You also want to stay away from Triple Sec as well. Triple Sec is a common ingredient in numerous mixed drinks. Triple sec could contain more than 10 grams of sugar in a single ounce. Therefore, it is not unusual to see drinks containing triple sec to have close to 200 calories. If possible, control what goes into your cocktails and stay away from triple sec to control calorie intake.
The good news is that there are plenty of ways for you to enjoy an adult beverage even without packing on the calories. For example, think about going with a vodka mixed with club soda instead. Add in a squeeze of lemon juice, and this is a delicious adult beverage. Another option might even be mixing some whiskey with a diet soda. Avoiding the soda that goes into cocktails is another way to limit the calories you have in your adult beverages. Ensure that you arrived at the party with a plan for how you will determine the calories you consume from your alcoholic beverages. Furthermore, try to drink a cup of water in between your adult beverages as well. Not only will this prevent a hangover from developing, but it will also slow down your alcohol consumption, helping you control your calories.
Don’t Go Near the Bread Basket
When you arrive at a party hungry, it is tempting to reach for the bread station. Mainly if there is food still cooking, it is tempting to eat a tremendous amount of bread. Then, when the food comes out, you are already full. Furthermore, a lot of bread contains processed flour and additives that might make it unhealthy, contributing to obesity. Even though bread might make you feel full, it will be a bunch of empty calories.
Simply put, don’t touch the bread station to control calorie intake. Reach for something else. There are plenty of other delicious appetizers from which to choose at the party. For example, think about reaching for some cucumber slices or carrot sticks that can be dipped in hummus instead. If you spend all of your time filling up on bread, you are going to add hundreds of calories to your meals in a hurry. Also, you haven’t consumed anything that is substantially nutritious. If you are in the habit of putting pads of butter on your bread, this is going to drive up your calorie intake as well. Furthermore, butter also has a very high-fat content, which is also bad for your diet.
If you hang out around the bread station, there is a chance that you are going to cave in and eventually grab a piece. Therefore, when you stake out your location at the party, try to make sure it isn’t anywhere near the bread station. This will make it much easier for you to control your caloric intake and avoid giving in to the temptation that is delicious, hot, tasty bread.
If you’re looking for a way to cut the calories at the party, skip the breadbasket, but if you’re looking to lose weight, you don’t have to skip any foods with Noom. During the free trial offer you can learn which foods are healthiest and which should be left for special occasions, and more.
Don’t Put Cream or Sugar in Your Coffee or Tea
As the party starts to come to a close, there’s a chance that you are going to begin to feel tired. Therefore, you will probably look for a tea or coffee drink to keep you awake. Everyone has a specific way they like their tea and coffee. For example, some people want to add cream to their coffee or tea. Other people might like to add sugar. Try to stay away from this temptation to control calorie intake.
On average, a single teaspoon of sugar, which is about four grams, will add about 16 calories to your drink. Sure, this might not sound like a lot. On the other hand, think about how many teaspoons of sugar you add to your coffee or tea. Adding three or four teaspoons of sugar to your coffee or tea can add up pretty quickly. If you have two or three cups of coffee or tea, this sugar could add up to a couple of hundred calories.
Try to avoid heavy cream and whole milk as well. Instead, if you would like to add some dairy to your drink, think about adding some skim milk instead. This has markedly fewer calories and way less cholesterol than heavy cream and whole milk.
If you feel yourself starting to get tired, try to drink your coffee without adding any cream or sugar to control calorie intake. If this sounds like it is going to be too hard, then reach for diet soda instead. This might have the caffeine content you need to stay awake while avoiding the sugar contributing to the caloric load.
If you want to make sure that you can stay awake for the entire party, try to limit your alcohol intake. Too much alcohol can make you feel tired. Instead, try to pace yourself, so you don’t end up reaching for coffee or tea at the end of the night. This is a simple way that you can avoid the extra calories that come from added sugar.
Skip the Cheese Appetizers at the Party
When you arrive at the New Year’s Eve party, there will probably be plenty of appetizers filled with cheese. Cheese is delicious and comes in many shapes and forms. On the other hand, cheese also has a lot of fat that can quickly drive up your calorie content.
It is also essential to think about appetizers that might have hidden cheese content as well. For example, dips are a common sight at New Year’s Eve parties. Sometimes, there is shredded cheese lurking beneath the surface. In other cases, there might be a spicy buffalo chicken dip that doesn’t just have cheese in it but could also have ranch dressing as well. Therefore, think carefully about which dips you were going to use. It might be better to reach for hummus instead of dip.
Even a single slice of cheese could add close to 100 calories to your meal – making it difficult to control calorie intake. In addition, adding that extra slice of cheese is not even going to make a difference when it comes to making you feel full. Therefore, it is a good idea to plan to reach for other appetizers instead.
It is also a good idea to think about which appetizers you are going to eat instead. For example, there might be chicken or melon at the party that is wrapped in prosciutto. If this doesn’t have any cheese attached to it, consider eating that instead. It might also be a good idea to reach for whole fruit if you feel like eating an appetizer that doesn’t contain any cheese. If you eat the skin of the fruit as well, you get the added benefit of the fiber. Even though the cheese is going to be tempting, arrive with a plan to avoid it. This can go a long way toward helping you control your calories at that New Year’s Eve party.
Consider Eating with Your Non-Dominant Hand
Even though this might sound a bit awkward, it might be something you would like to try at the party. If you are prone to eating quickly, then you might end up putting a bunch of food in your stomach before your stomach even has a chance to digest it. If you feel bloated at the end of the meal, there’s a good chance that you simply ate too quickly. By slowing down, you allow your stomach and your digestive tract to assess what it is eating. Then, you are more likely to feel full before you go back for seconds or thirds.
If you are prone to eating quickly, hold the plate in your dominant hand. This will force you to eat with your non-dominant hand. Because you simply are not as good with your non-dominant hand as you are with your dominant hand, there’s a good chance that you will eat slower. Therefore, this will also help you eat less, controlling your calories.
If you are eating something that is a hand food, consider placing your drink in your dominant hand. This will force you to keep your food in your non-dominant hand as you eat. This is another way that you can force yourself to eat with your non-dominant hand at the party.
Regardless, the goal of this tip is to force you to eat slower to control calorie intake. There are multiple medical studies that have shown that if you eat slower, you are more likely to eat less. Some of the other tips that you can try to force yourself to eat more slowly include:
- Put down the plate, the fork, or the knife in between bites.
- Chew a certain number of times before you swallow every bite.
- Try to use smaller plates, as this will force you to repeatedly go back up and get more food, forcing you to be aware of what you are eating.
If you eat slower, you will eat less, consume fewer calories, and stick to your diet.
Control Your Calories at This Year’s New Year’s Eve Party
New Year’s Eve is going to be here before you know it. If you want to achieve your weight-loss goals, you need to cut calories even at a New Year’s Eve celebration. Think about putting these tips into practice so that you can place yourself, your mind, and your body in a position to control your portions, make good decisions and manage your calories even during a fantastic celebration. By going into this year’s New Year’s Eve party with a plan, you are more likely to follow the guidelines of your diet as you ring in the New Year!
If you’re looking to start out this New Year with a new outlook on weight loss, we suggest going with a clinically-studied and proven program like Noom. During the free trial offer you’ll be introduced to a personal coach, learn how to choose foods based on calorie-density, address the real reasons you want to lose weight and more.
Summer Banks has researched over 5000 weight-loss programs, pills, shakes and diet plans. Previously, she managed 15 supplement brands, worked with professionals in the weight loss industry and completed coursework in nutrition at Stanford University.