Food temptations abound at this time of year, and all those parties with buffet tables can mean packing on an extra five to 10 pounds by the end of the season.

Registered dietitian, Jane Dummer, suggests creating your own step-by-step system for navigating the buffet, including your favourites, but also keeping calories in check:

1. Scan the Table: Take in all the delicious options available and plan what you really want to make room for on your plate.

2. Mini-size: Using a smaller plate not only makes a normal portion seem larger, but it’s also a great way to manage your portions and calorie intake. For beverages, opt for portion controlled sizes, such as bottled water or Coke mini-cans, for example, which are 100 calories or less per serving.

3. Go for colour: Make healthier food choices at the buffet by skipping the bland-coloured appetizers and instead focus on adding a selection of colourful vegetables to your plate.

4. Slow down: Take your time and be mindful of what you are eating. “It can take up to 30 minutes for stop signals to hit your brain. Pace yourself by savouring each bite so that you don’t over-indulge,” says Dummer.

5. Move out and socialize strategically: To avoid overeating, move away from the food. Focus on the purpose of the party – great conversation and good times with friends.

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