Myth: Great cooks and festive parties place our willpower at risk.
Reality: Research indicates that it's not the parties that prompt us to eat, but being around friends and family that may lead to diet missteps. In a study conducted at Pennsylvania State University in University Park, researchers found that dining in a group causes the average person to eat 44 percent more calories than they normally would eating alone.
Strategy: Mindful eating is the key to maintaining your equilibrium during social situations ... try taking a smaller serving. Make a conscious effort to balance your plate with plenty of fruits and veggies, and a healthy portion -- about three to four ounces -- of protein .... Also take a second to look at every bite before you eat it. This psychological connection will help you keep a mental checklist of how much you're consuming.Cooking Light, Dec. 2005