How to Survive a Cocktail Party

By Nikki Haskell

I have attended some of the most lavish cocktail parties in the world. Generally, they consist of drinks and assorted hot and cold finger foods, most of which are high in fat and calories!

Be prepared and you won’t be trapped between the double-dipped, deep-fried cheese balls and the spinach wrapped in butter-drenched phyllo dough. Here are some tips to avoid holiday weight gain. Before you leave your house, eat a few strawberries, a piece of melon, a salad, or some raw vegetables. This way you won’t be famished when you arrive at the party. When I entertain, I always serve lots of delicious appetizers that are low in calories for my friends and the Star Dieters. However, if you find yourself at someone’s home who has not been thoughtful enough to consider the dieter, here are a few tips to get you through the night.

1. Arrive fashionably late. If the invitation says 7:30 p.m., arrive at 8:15 p.m. Somebody has to be the first to arrive, but it doesn’t have to be you. This way, you’ll only have time for a drink or two and a few hors d’oeuvres.

2. Check out the food table. Eat only those foods that are low in calories such as crudités. If there is something irresistible, take a small piece so that you don’t feel deprived. Remember, you can get the full flavor of a food in just one, bite. If you can’t eat just one, don’t eat any. For example, you can allow yourself one spoonful of caviar, a single slice of smoked salmon on the world’s tiniest piece of black bread, and a glass of champagne. Calories: 314. (Do be aware, however, that you have just eaten your dinner.)

3. Don’t stand near the food table. Stand with your back to the food or on the other side of the room to avoid “unconscious” eating. Keep circulating and don’t follow the handsome waiter around.

4. Don’t take a plate. You’ll be tempted to put too much food on it and eat too fast. Eat one hors d’oeuvre at a time.

5. Beverages have calories, too! Unless you choose low-calorie or calorie-free drinks (sparkling water, diet soda, tomato juice, etc), the calories in drinks can really add up! Limit your alcohol to two regular drinks, and then switch to something lighter such as a wine spritzer or watered-down mixed drinks with lots of ice. If someone offers to freshen your drink, say, “Thanks, all I need is more ice cubes.”

6. Dress for success. If you look devastatingly gorgeous or breathtakingly handsome, you’ll feel slim and sexy and will be less likely to blow it on a tray of bacon bites. Remember, making new friends is dietetic.


How to Survive a Cocktail Party- Dinner Included

Should dinner be attached to the invitation, you still don’t have to go off your diet. Banquets, charity events, and annual dinners are the worst challenges for the Star Dieter. You have little or no choice in what is served, and the menu is always high in calories.

If you have a choice of entrées, choose the least fattening and always ask that the sauce be served on the side. (And don’t eat it!) Skip the potatoes, bread, and dessert. Pass on the sour cream, butter, sauces, and other fats. Eat half of your entrée, enjoy the vegetables and the salad without the dressing, and flirt with everyone at the table.

Don’t announce that you’re on a diet. If the hostess tries to get you to eat more than you want, tell her, “I’m so full, I cannot eat another bite.” If you can fake it without telling her, do it. (It’s okay to lie a little here.) Otherwise, it will be the topic of conversation.

Nikki Haskell, diet guru to the stars, is author of Star Diet and creator of StarShape Diet System.

More SMW “Cocktail” Articles
Twelve Days of Cocktails
That’s the Spirit! Fun and Festive Cocktails
‘Mad Men’ Inspired Cocktails