Can't resist the party platters? Take our 60-second quiz to find out your party food personality

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When it comes to keeping an eye on calories, party food’s off the menu, right? Actually, studies suggest that she who shuns the nibbles (or treats canapes like calculus) may gain more weight in the longer term. Before you wave that platter on past, give your party eating the once over. It could change your life.

1. Your phone goes off at 6am with a reminder about tonight's cocktail party. You:

a.     Head straight for the kitchen to make sure you get a proper, sit-down breakfast and have time to make a healthy lunch. You take extra care to eat well when you know there’s no proper dinner.
b.     Spend the extra hour trying on every dress in your wardrobe. Hey, better than eating breakfast – heaven knows there’ll be enough calories at this thing.
c.     Kick off with a croissant with jam. If you’re going to blow your healthy eating later, why not make a day of it?

2. It’s 5pm, your stomach sounds like Mt Etna, and there’s still an hour-and-a-half until party time. You:

a.     Stop at the nearest supermarket, grab a six-pack of lunchbox cheese and crackers and eat one in the car.
b.     Tell yourself you’ll stick to the carrots and skip the dip. Summer’s coming, after all.
c.     Imagine a room full of miniature burgers and cheese wheels, and whisper ‘all the better to eat you with’ (yes, in the creepy wolf voice)

3. Two platters approach from either side. One’s brimming with vegie sticks and dip, the other is lined with the cutest little quiches you’ve ever seen. You

a.     Take a handful of vegie sticks and a quiche. Once you’ve taken the edge off with some crunchy carrots, you’ll want less of the other stuff.
b.     Wave both platters past and pull a snap-lock baggie of almonds from your clutch. You swear it’s because you like the taste.
c.     Take two quiches. On second thoughts, they’re not cute, they’re just tiny. Make it three. You’ll be good tomorrow.

 

4. A couple of bubblies in, your no-carbs diet is starting to sound ridiculous (and those crackers look impossibly good):

a.     Sniff out your favourite – guacamole – and scrape it onto two crackers with a knife, letting the extra globs fall back into the bowl.
b.     Flag down the host to ask what brand the crackers are. You need to plug it into your calorie-counting app before deciding how many you’ll have.
c.     Find a plate and fill it with crackers, each with a different dip. If you’re going to break your carb fast, you may as well enjoy it.

5. You get trapped talking to a chef, who won’t shut up about her new menu. You:

a.     Ask whether you were snoring. After all those carrot sticks and a couple of protein-based canapes, you couldn’t be less interested in food.
b.     Picture a parma the size of a stingray and realise you’re still hungry. You pour yourself a sugar-free soft drink to fill the gap for zero calories. How clever are you?
c.     Sneak out the side gate and head for the nearest late-night pub while you can.

6. The first dessert tray comes past and the other girls in your circle politely decline. You:

a.     Decide to set an example and take two. You’d rather satisfy your sweet tooth with 150 calories now than set yourself up to inhale 1,500 in cookies in a moment of treat-deprived self-pity.
b.     Take bets on how many calories are in each tart and estimate your savings. You really should have been in banking.
c.     Figure the fruit makes it healthy and take three. Or is that six? Don’t you hate double vision?

Mostly As:The Social Eating Einstein

You’ve got party noshing down pat. While you know those platters can be brimming with extra calories, you strategically work with your body to keep excess kJs in the hundreds, not thousands – and you get to enjoy what you like. By taking the edge off your hunger before arriving, you set yourself up to make rational choices; you enjoy what you do eat (just call you Nigella). After all, where’d guilt get anyone? 

Mostly bs: The False Economiser 

You may have your fellow guests fooled, but deep down you know your strategy ain’t working. (How did that half a meat pie get into your pyjama sleeve?) While you may squirrel away a few calories from skipping meals and canapes, your refusal to eat when you’re hungry – and what your body needs – ultimately leads you to take in more energy than if you’d had a few party snacks. Next time you’re going out, take a tip from the As – have your cupcake and eat it.

Mostly cs: The DISCIPLE

Forget 80/20 – for you it’s 100/0 – you’re being ‘good’, or ‘bad’. This is risky, as once you’ve had even a nibble of party pie, you’ll turn the day into the last supper, only to wind up wishing you hadn’t eaten 10. There’s a risk that you’ll come to link social events with guilt, rather than festivity, and that food may become a standalone activity separate from everyday living (noone likes a cake date who won’t eat cake). Did we mention weight gain? gain? Try treating all foods as neutral and welcome the odd doughnut or party pie to your regular diet, and don’t measure your days by what you do or don’t eat. 

Find out your ideal weight, browse low-fat recipes and choose a healthy eating plan today!

Photo credit: Photo Library