TIP #6-HEALTHY ENTERTAINING

If hosting a get together at your house means a calorie fest that starts hours before guests arrive and outlasts the final cup of coffee served, you’re not alone. Rich, fattening food-and plenty of it? Inevitably, everyone ends up stuffed and wishing they hadn’t gorged so much. Here are some awesome ideas that won’t leave anyone feeling deprived:

1. Offer healthier versions of tried-and-true favorites, without making a big deal out of their better-for-you profile. (The low-key approach is essential!) Most people love and expect chips, dips, cheese, and crackers. Use chips with natural ingredients like stone-ground corn and quinoa, so they satisfy with flavor and fiber. Instead of the usual creamy dips, put out guacamole and hummus, which contain good fats. Cheese-wise, go for a reduced fat cheddar. As for crackers, try 7 grains and kamut flat breads.

2. Serve healthy foods that people enjoy, such as shrimp with cocktail sauce, vegetarian chili, whole-grain bread, and crudites.

3. Drinks are where things get tricky, and quantity is critical. Beer is a no-brainer; stock up on a terrific light version. Also, keep plenty of juice and flavored seltzer on hand to make mocktails or to create low-alcohol spritzers.

4. A win-win way to wind down the night: the always popular make-your-own-sundae bar with lots of fresh fruit and a variety of low-fat ice creams and sorbets.

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