For those of you who can't leave town, here are some of the Slender Shore spa's best secrets for handling the Washington food scene without getting fat.

Throw out the gooey junk you keep at home for the kids (and eat yourself). Give them wholesome snacks and let ice cream be an occasional treat (for which your husband takes them out).

Ask the family for help in the kitchen when you can't bear to be alone with the bread and the Brie.

When cooking, a large piece of non-sugar gum or a constant cup of tea will keep you from sampling too much.

Never eat standing up. You'll forget you did it.

If you plan to eat, say a carrot, don't jus chomp. Grate it, with some lemon juice, sit down, and eat slowly.

Or try a "gazpacho." Blend fresh grapefruit juice, 1/2 green pepper, small tomato, 1/2 cucumber in the food processor.

Tell that mousse-bearing hostess or liquor-plying date. "No thanks, I'm on melba toast" (or 4 oz. of white wine.)

If you're about to snack, first try to relax. Bath, exercise, hike, do your nails, have coffee. Then see if you still need food.

Some substitutes: yogurt and lemon juice salad dressings; frozen bananas coated with lemon juice and sugar substitute; yogurt mixed with egg white and sugar substitute over fruit.

Instead of cookies, for after-school snacks give the kids homemade granola; or pita bread, filled with banana, peanut butter and honey, or whole wheat toast and jam.