Actress Kirstie Alley has a tip for those keen to avoid piling on the pounds at Christmas - eat healthily at home before hitting parties at family and friends' homes.

The former Cheers star, who has struggled with her weight over the years, admits she has made a point of eating sensibly instead of bingeing on the rich but delicious food often served at Christmas and New Year events - and her dieting rule has worked in recent years.

She says, "I eat before I go. I try to eat the good, healthy food that I know I'm supposed to eat before I ever walk out the door for a party, so that I don't end up at a party hungry.

"But I like my cooking. I like home cooking way better than restaurant or party food."