(UPI) -- Holiday parties are the perfect way to wrap up the year, but to guard against overdoing food and drinks, a U.S. expert suggests preparing beforehand.
Lori Rosenthal, a dietitian at the Montefiore Medical Center in New York, said one of the most important things to do before a holiday party is to eat a healthy snack before leaving home.
"In a party atmosphere, we often throw the rule book out the window and treat ourselves more than usual," Rosenthal said in a statement. "Even the most disciplined can let their guard down, filling up on food and drink and doing things that we later wish we hadn't."
Rosenthal suggested to:
-- Hydrate beforehand leaving home because it can reduce the desire to eat and drink a lot later.
-- Scope out food options before diving in. Scan the buffet table first and then choose wisely.
-- Take a smaller plate to keep portions size down.
-- Stand away from the table because it reduces the ease to snack.
-- Alternate between a glass of water and an alcoholic drink. Sip cocktails slowly.
-- Keep track of how many drinks consumed.
-- Rehydrate to avoid a post-party headache and because it counteracts the high-sodium party foods consumed the night before.
-- Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish or walnuts, because they have an anti-inflammatory effect, and eating potassium-rich fruits and vegetables like bananas, kiwis and mangos, help replenish electrolytes.
-- If you choose a drink with electrolytes, try a sugar-free option to avoid excess calories.
"Holiday festivities are all about having fun, but we also should make good decisions about our health," Rosenthal said.