I love parties but I find it hard to keep my eating in check when I'm on the social circuit. So when the invites start pouring in, I follow these four tricks to party my way thin:

1. Eat what you want the most. Birthday-party buffets and potlucks are totally tempting. Rather than diving right in, I try to survey the offerings and decide on one or two "must-haves." Then I fill the rest of my plate with veggies.

2. Bring a dish. People generally appreciate it if you offer to bring something and this also allows you to bring something that's healthy. I'm not talking "diet" foods, such as celery and carrots, but rather something that you know others will enjoy too. I often bring Roasted Beet Crostini (82 calories a piece!) for an appetizer. And for new ideas I always check EatingWell's Healthy Recipe Collections.

3. Go easy on the alcohol. Alcoholic drinks are not only high in calories, but also they can chip away at your resolve to eat mindfully. When I can, I bring the ingredients to make plenty of delicious, healthier drinks for everyone to share, such as Mango Splash.

4. Have fun catching up with people. It's not nice to talk with food in your mouth nor is it polite to run off in the middle of someone else's story to refill your plate. Make a point of striking up conversations far from the food, and you'll save you and your friends from mindless munching. Works every time!