How to eat healthy during wedding season

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - Attending a wedding can be like walking through a field of landmines if you want to lose weight. Certified health coach Pam Bredenkamp joins us today with some simple tips for navigating everything from cocktails and appetizers to buffets and wedding cake. Pam lost 220 pounds in 18 months, and continues to keep it off.


* Cocktail Hour - A simple 'No, thank you' can save you a ton of calories (for example, a couple meatballs can add up to 100 calories and nearly a whole day`s fat). Or simply choose appetizers wisely. Pam recommends skipping cheeses and fried appetizers. Instead go for leaner items like a piece of shrimp without dipping it in sauce or a small piece of flatbread with tapenade.

* Drinks - Drink water or sparkling water to stay hydrated before having a cocktail. Then go for white liquors, like vodka or gin, because they have less calories. Avoid fruity drinks or drinks with sodas as mixers, because fruit juices and sodas are typically very high in sugar and calories. Sparkling water is better for mixers, because they add no calories. And don`t have back-to-back cocktails. Instead have a glass of water between each cocktail; and you`re more likely to wake up without a hangover.

* Chicken or Fish? - If you have a choice on your RSVP card, choose chicken or fish, because the meat options typically aren`t very lean or they add a lot of high-calorie sauce to lean cuts. Pam recommends skipping the vegetarian option, because it`s usually a high-calorie pasta or risotto with only a little vegetables. When your dinner arrives, subtly push off any sauces, gravy and breading, which can add on hundreds of calories. Avoid the starches, such as potatoes, rice or pasta. Don`t be shy to ask for a second salad if you`re still hungry.

* At a Buffet - If the wedding has a buffet, take a quick glance down the line so you can make mental notes about the best choices to make. Most buffets usually have great salads with dressing on the side - sometimes there are two options. If there`s a lot of pasta and potatoes, instead load up on salad and put the chicken option and side vegetables on your salad.

* At Food Stations - At a wedding with food stations, be careful with tapas-style servings on little plates. You can end up eating way more than you realize. You`ll be safest by heading for the salad or veggie station.

* Wedding Cake - Pam recommends passing on wedding cake altogether, because sometimes taking 'just a little piece' can start you on a slippery slope. She says, sugar has addictive properties so you could end up craving more sugary foods that night and the following day.

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