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3 healthy ways to tackle comfort food temptations

TODAY show nutritionist Joy Bauer is here to help you eat well, without overloading on calories.
/ Source: TODAY

It's cold outside, and you know what that means?

Potential bingeing on warm, yummy comfort food. You know that in most social situations, you’ll be surrounded by a plethora of fattening foods. If you’re watching your waistline, follow these 3 tips to help you walk away with a smile on your face.

1. Plan ahead. This way you won’t head to a party ravenous and pick at calorific appetizers and gorge on creamy dips all evening long. Your best bet is a light, but filling snack that combines protein, fiber and water, a combo of nutrients that work together to take the edge off your hunger and give you ammo to fight tasty temptations. Try ¼ cup of hummus (made with chickpeas, a good source of protein and fiber) with loads of your favorite crudités veggies (filled with fiber and water) — whether that’s baby carrots, sugar snap peas, cherry tomatoes, celery, or bell peppers. Anything goes!

Healthy Buffalo Chicken Dip

2. Be smart. For every alcoholic beverage you drink, follow it up with a glass of water or seltzer to stay hydrated. If you drink more booze and get a little tipsy, you tend to lose your inhibitions and head straight for the junky food. When it comes to alcohol, stick with the lowest calorie options like light beer, wine, or your favorite spirit mixed with seltzer and a splash of juice. Bottoms up!

3. Make JOYful choices. No need to give up creamy dips, spicy wings, and cheesy treats. Instead, enjoy slimmed-down versions of all the comfort foods you crave. Attention home chef hosts: Dig into these delicious dishes that won’t break the calorie bank: spicy cauliflower buffalo “wings” with blue cheese dip and an indulgent Philly cheesesteak. Whip up my lightened up renditions and you’ll score major points with the friends you’re hosting. And enjoy!

For more delicious recipes, follow Joy on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and check out her cookbook From Junk Food to Joy Food.