Ah, December, the season when homemade cookies magically appear on conference room tables and any trip down a corridor can end in a small, fattening wine-and-cheese party. Ensuring you don't look like Santa by January can require a special discipline. Holiday-party appetizer grazing—that is, eating while standing up or distracted, or when you're sitting too close to the snack bowl—can result in some truly diet-busting calorie consumption. After all, who ever ate just one pig in a blanket?
Here are five of the worst party food offenders. Their calorie counts are enough to make you run to the crudités plate. (For more eating habits to avoid, check out our story on the worst ways to gnosh.
Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp Yes, grilled or boiled shrimp is low-fat, but when it's wrapped in bacon (and sometimes drizzled first in sauce), the calories can climb to more than 100 per morsel, including at least 8 grams of fat.
Pigs in Blankets The quintessential '50s hors d'oeuvre—with at least 80 calories and 5 grams of fat per pig—never went away. How could it? Don't pretend you've never stalked the waiter with the tray. Keep it down to two or fewer of these little morsels or you could find yourself ingesting a meal's worth of calories in a few fleeting bites.
Mini-quiches This fork-size version of a ladies-lunch favorite can be deceptive. Keep in mind there's typically bacon or ham along with the cheese. Mini-quiches start at 7 grams of fat and 90 calories each.
Sliders The latest thing in party food, these mini-cheeseburgers have the advantage of built-in portion control. If you manage to stick to one, you've consumed only about 120 calories and 8 grams of fat. But can you stick to just one?
Parmesan Breadsticks They seem innocuous, and they're a lot less messy to eat while standing than some party foods. But think twice before you pick up one these soft-baked breadsticks. They pack anywhere between 190 and 230 calories each, with 9.4 grams of fat. Two of them will do more calorie damage than a grilled cheese sandwich.
But don't let those calorie counts scare you off parties entirely. A good strategy, if you can't resist the high-cal feast altogether: sample one of everything that appeals and maybe a second of your favorites. Then skip dinner.
Click here for the eight most fattening foods of fall .