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Holiday-Food Smackdown: The Choices You Should Make at the Party Buffet

first rule at the buffet: Take only two things. "You'll eat much less than those who choose multiple foods," says Brian Wansink, Ph.D., director of Cornell University's Food and Brand Lab. So which foods to pick? We asked Lauren Slayton, R.D., author of The Little Book of Thin, for advice.

Instead of Hummus: (27 calories per tablespoon) "Its health halo leads people to overdip," says Slaton.
Try Salsa: (8 calories per tablespoon) A veggie-based dip is usually lower-cal.

Instead of Chicken Wings: (94 calories per wing) Double that if you're dipping in blue cheese.
Try Shrimp Cocktail: (14 calories per shrimp) Tons of protein, no fat. Have lots!

Instead of Cheddar: (113 calories per ounce) More calories than many creamier cheeses.
Try Feta: (74 calories per ounce) One of the lowest-cal choices; a little goes a long way.

Instead of Mixed Nuts: (187 calories per ounce) That's about a handful, and who stops at that?
Try Olives: (5 calories per olive) Full of flavor and heart-healthy fats.

Instead of a Vodka-Cranberry: (170 calories a glass) Juice-based drinks sound healthy, but whoa—calories!
Try Champagne: (91 calories a glass) or a wine spritzer (73 calories). Bubbly and festive.

Instead of Sugar Cookies: (360 calories for two) Bottom line: The two main ingredients are sugar and fat.
Try Pumpkin Pie: (250 calories per slice) Seven grams of protein keeps you full longer.

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