This classic Toast post originally ran on November 11, 2013.
Well, the holidays are at last upon us, as “upon us” is a holiday’s favorite place to sprawl, and that means one thing: making sure that you get enough to eat at holiday parties. There’s nothing worse than waking up in January and realizing you’ve practiced careful moderation in the face of temptation, also watching that waistline, and cravings, and jeans that fit: food is everywhere. Here are a few tips to make sure you get your fair share of empty calories between Thanksgivukkah and New Boxing Day.
Don’t fill up on water. Water is full of empty fluids. If you’re trying to keep yourself from over-imbibing on cocktails, try matching every alcoholic beverage you drink with a glass of nog. Any variety of nog will do, as long as it leaves a film on your glass. Remember: if the glass ain’t fogged, your drink’s not nog, as the elves sing right before they get you.
Avoid the crudités. They’re a pointless vehicle for dip. Think of all the other foods you could be smearing that dip on: french onion smeared over a pimiento olive; pâté on sausage rolls. Celery is for suckers.
Stay away from protein and fiber. You’ve got bigger fish to fry (is there fried fish at this party?). Look at that cheese log. What do you do with logs? Build things with them.
Remember the hidden calories in drinks. Look very carefully for them; they’re hidden. Who knows how many drinks it will take for you to find them.
Before you take a bite of anything, ask yourself: could I sprinkle peanut M&Ms on this?
Skip meals so you’ll be extra hungry. Don’t go crazy. Skip half a meal, maybe. Just make sure you show up irrational and dizzy, so those first two glasses of wine really pack a wallop. If you’re drinking, be sure to wait a few hours before you start eating, otherwise the food in your stomach might soak up some of the alcohol.
Balance your indulgences. If you’ve got a slice of carrot cake in your left hand, put some mini hot dogs wrapped in those little crescent rolls in your right, so you don’t fall over from the weight of it, I guess.
Bring an apple with you wherever you go. This will protect you from witches.
Don’t go back for seconds. Eat off other people’s plates when they get up to go to the bathroom.
Bring your own vegetables. That way you can throw them away wherever you are, and they won’t stink up your trash can.
Cut servings in half before you eat. Fill the empty swath between your portion halves with gravy, then eat both halves. You could put some dip on that gravy, you know. Just because your food’s got gravy on it doesn’t mean you couldn’t use some dip.
Cranberry sauce is a waste of time. It’s just fancy jam. That’s all it is. You could eat that at home.
Portion control. Don’t let your portions boss you around, I guess. Eat them. You’re the boss; they’re just amounts of food.
Remember: pecan pie has the most calories of almost any holiday dessert, so start with that and work your way down.
Mallory is an Editor of The Toast.