The holiday season only comes around once a year and you deserve to enjoy it. If you gain a couple pounds during this festive time, however, you probably won't be pleased when January rolls around.
Here are a some tips to help you through the holiday party season:
- Get in a good workout on the day of your holiday parties. Don't just say, "The heck with my workout!" Even 30 minutes of cardio is worth it on party day to make up for any extra calories you may consume.
- Eat a small meal before the party. If you show up and haven't eaten all day in preparation for party-time hors d'oeuvres, then you're much more likely to go to town on the holiday treats and overeat!
- Offer to bring something--and make it healthy. Bring a yummy salad or veggies with low-fat dip or hummus. This way you know there will be at least one healthy item for you to munch on during the evening.
- Fill your plate with healthier options and try only small samplings of the fatty dips and desserts. This way you won't feel deprived, but you also won't feel guilty for the foods you've eaten.
- Watch your drinking! The stress of the holidays makes us all want to reach for a cocktail, but just remember that alcohol is a high calorie item. So consider the idea that maybe you don't need to down multiple cocktails (or eat multiple desserts, for that matter).
- Because you're probably going to drink, be savvy about your cocktail choices. Stick with lower calorie options like flavored vodka and club soda, a glass of wine or light beer.
- Finally, don't forget to drink your water. This will help you stay hydrated and avoid the nasty hangovers that so many holiday parties leave behind. Plus, if you're double-fisting a cocktail and a glass of water, it should inevitably slow your alcohol consumption.
When you are eating on your own - outside of a party or get-together, make sure you make healthy choices. Use your alone times to eat clean and healthy.
Use a smaller plate when at buffets and the like - it will force you to choose healthier options.
Watch the alcohol - lots of empty calories and can often make us sloppy and lead ot bad choices.
Keep up the fitness. Not only will it alleviate stress - but it will also use up time that you could be eating. And burn a few of those sugar cookies too.
Sample but don't feast. If at a buffet - take lots of tastes - it can be equally satisfying!
Get away from the buffet. After you fill your plate - walk away from the table - you will be less likely to do the lazy snatch and grabs.
Just enjoy yourself - have fun with it. See old friends and fill yourself with bonhomie instead of calories.
1) Try to get some kind of workout done in the morning so that you don't get caught up in post work social situations.
2) Keep healthy snack options at your desk i.e homemade trail mix, yogurt, granola bars, a medium sized fruit, string cheese, etc.
3) For every alcoholic beverage you drink, consume 8 oz of water. Staying hydrated will help you stay on track for the day after instead of craving Chinese food, pizza or anything greasy!
1. If you will be attending a holiday party at night, try eating "clean" during the day so you can enjoy a few treats at night--guilt-free. I often recommend consuming more calories earlier in the day and fewer as the day progresses. However, try eating lighter and "cleaner" meals and snacks during the day if you will be attending a holiday party at night--especially if you know the hostess will be serving up some of your favorite once-a-year treats. The day of a party, try a protein- and fiber-packed smoothie for breakfast (made with water; your favorite frozen fruit; a handful of greens; and protein like nuts, nut butter, or hemp and chia seeds). For lunch, enjoy a fresh green salad topped with veggies, nuts, seeds, and beans. And if you are hungry between meals, try picking a small portion of a whole food snack with some staying power: a small handful of nuts, trail mix, or fresh fruit with nut butter. The idea is to eat light and clean, but to give your body enough fuel and nourishment--so you can enjoy a few holiday treats at night but don't end up over-eating on rich party fare.
2. Do some holiday party picking and choosing. When you arrive at a party, scan the buffet line, appetizer trays, or dessert table to see what foods look most appealing--and select only those you will truly love and savor. This is the time of year to enjoy your favorite holiday treats--so skip those that your palate will find less than appetizing and choose only those you truly enjoy. Select a small portion, eat slowly, chew your food well, and savor each bite.
3. Limit (or skip altogether) alcoholic beverages. Depending on your drink of choice, the calories from alcoholic beverages can add up quickly. And because alcohol lowers inhibitions, it often leads to mindless eating and over-eating. If you do choose to drink, choose only those beverages you enjoy (for example, skip the beer if it leaves you feeling bloated and full, but if you enjoy a good glass of red wine, savor it and sip slowly). Also try drinking a full glass of water between drinks--it will help your body flush out the byproducts of alcohol metabolism and prevent you from drinking too much.
4. Focus on the non-food aspects of the holiday season. Although food is a large part of most holiday celebrations, it is not the only one. The quality time you spend with family and friends is nourishment for the body, food for the soul. Savor the time you spend with your significant others, too!