I am not an expert, and do not play one on TV either, but here are a few short tips that I have compiled that help me. ****Your mileage may vary****
Drink lots of water – Staying hydrated is important for lots of reasons, but falsely signaling hunger is one.
Stay nourished – Also important for lots of reasons, but lacking in vitamins or nutrients can signal hunger until we fill that void. Fill your body with good foods ahead of time, in hopes to avoid a binge by taking the edge off cravings induced by lack of vitamins/nutrients.
(water & being well nourished are my goals daily, but especially important before a party)
As I understand it, it is not about the calories per meal, or calories per day even, it is the calories over the course of the week. So make good choices when you can leading up to an event - like the week before, days before, and/or day of. I try to stay lower carb/lower GI index leading up to the event, and then use this opportunity as a “reset/refeed” so that I can enjoy it guilt free.
I know there will be plenty of the high fat-high carb combo bombs brought by others, which are the culprits for making me fat - the HF/HC combination.
I am not gluten intolerant, but I will puff up like a puffer fish for a few days after indulging.
(I have done the math – it is usually 3 inches on the waist, 3lbs on the scale, for 3 days!) So I make sure that my contribution to the party is a healthier alternative. No HFCS, no wheats, no transfat, no veggie oils, no frankenfoods – use only real ingredients. And since everything else looks sinfully delicious, and I already know what my results will be (3-3-3) and if I accept that (which I will because I have already been preparing for it all week)
then I will take a small serving of whatever I want. (I use the serving utensil to actually cut it in half)
Things I do the day of to help ensure it is guilt free:
-I make it a point to consume protein beforehand
-Strategic exercise to activate Glut-4 (things like 60-90 seconds of squats, pushups, dips, lunges minutes beforehand, and then again 1.5 hours after)
I also try to avoid fruity mixed drinks with High Fructose Corn Syrup. (actually I don't drink much at all but try to avoid those if you must drink)
Drink even more water – before, during, after – especially after. For every gram of carb you consume during the festivities your body will retain almost an additional 3 grams of water. This is why you’ll feel bloated like a puffer fish the day(s) after a party. Remember, the more water you give your body, the less it will hold onto.
Stay off the scale for a few days.