Abiding to a healthy nutritional plan can be challenging, but eating most meals at home makes it more manageable. Buying the right foods, counting calories and cooking your own meals are steadfast strategies to keep pounds at bay.

But, what do you do when the busy holiday season fills your social calendar? Being surrounded by tempting sweets and high-calorie foods at holiday events and gatherings tend to set even the most motivated people back.

Keep in control with these holiday party survival tips.

Always plan ahead to keep your weight in check during the holiday season. If there’s an indulgence you just can’t miss, don’t deprive yourself — just count it toward your daily calorie goal. Taste a bite of dessert, or have that glass of wine — just don’t overdo it.

If you indulge in moderation, you can celebrate without adding inches to your waistline.

Cocktail party

You may think cocktail party hors d’oeuvres are so small they couldn’t possibly hurt your diet, but you’re wrong. Most cocktail party treats are incredibly high in calories for such a small portion, meaning you’re adding up the calories without any of the satisfaction of feeling full. To keep from over-indulging:

Christmas-ornament Do a walk-through of the party and scope out the hors d’oeuvres selection when you first arrive. Choose to indulge on your favorites or scope out healthier options.

• Don’t stand near the hors d’oeuvres throughout the party. It’s a dangerous spot that’s far too tempting!

• Upon arrival, give yourself about 15 minutes with a non-caloric beverage like sparkling water. Party guests usually start with the food as a social buffer, but this can lead to overdoing it. Likewise, if you go straight for a cocktail, you’re more likely to over-indulge in foods later.

• For every cocktail or glass of wine, have a glass of water. This will keep you fuller longer, and keep you from drinking too much.

Dinner party

End-of-the-year business or personal celebrations in restaurants can be difficult for those watching their weight or sticking to a healthy nutrition plan. Follow these helpful tips to keep calories low:

• Focus your meal around lean protein. Great selections include chicken, fish, lean cuts of meat, tofu, tempeh, and eggs.

• Don’t forget veggies! Always order steamed vegetables or mixed greens as a side. Even if the restaurant does not have them on the menu, they can likely be prepared.

• Avoid cream-based soups and salad dressings, and ask for all dressing on the side.

• Avoid anything fried and ask for cheese on the side so you can control the amount eaten.

• Avoid the bread basket. A dinner roll can have 200 calories or more.

• Stick to a maximum of one alcoholic beverage and enjoy slowly throughout dinner.

For more information, visit www.mediweightlossclinics.com or call 203-659-8949.