Holiday Party Survival Tips for the Healthy Eater
“Well I was eating great lately, but tonight we have a party to go to so I guess I’ll just call today a bust and worry about it tomorrow”
Who has not either heard that, or said something similar themselves?
Eating healthy is a hard habit to get into but once you are there it's so important to keep your momentum! It can feel overwhelming to try and make great choices when it feels like you are swimming in a sea of temptation, but here are a few quick tips to staying on track:
Bring a good choice to share
Chances are you are not the only one at the party that would enjoy a veggie platter, a fruit tray, or some Greek yogurt dip. I love to use parties, as a chance to remake a classic favorite in a healthier way and share that healthy food can be yummy too! Plus, this way you know there will be at least one thing you love that won't undue all your efforts.
Use a Plate
It can be easy to lose track of what you have eaten when you are just grabbing appetizers and snacks and eating on the go. By using a plate and placing your food on it all together you give yourself a visual of what you are really taking in so you can decide if it’s the right portions (and if you REALLY needed that third cookie)
Avoid too salty foods
Added salt is a sneaky little bugger and can really amp up the bloat factor the next day. Make sure to steer clear of super salty foods like deli meats and pretzels, choosing the cheese chunks or vegetables instead.
Choose your calories wisely
Holidays are supposed to be stress free and fun, so don’t be overly strict with yourself but make sure the treats you opt for are worth it! Would you rather have one of your favorite cookies or a handful of potato chips? You decide, but try to make conscious decisions so that everything you eat is enjoyable. This will help you avoid the “I ate how much of WHAT?!?!” hangover the next morning.
Find a conversation spot away from the food
Why is it the party always seems to end up in the kitchen? I’m sure your host has planned for other areas for guests to congregate but the food table is always a magnet. Try to take your conversation away from the food spread and remove the temptation to mindlessly grab snacks while catching up plus make your host happy that someone is noticing that she vacuumed the couch and hid all the kid toys before you came. It’s a win-win situation.
Use your cocktail glass for water
No one here is saying you can't enjoy a drink, but try to have at least one if not two glasses of water between each drink. For many people sipping out of that wine glass is a habit while chatting and you will be surprised how easy it is to get down that extra water by just putting it in your wine glass. Plus it fends off the friendly top-offs by the host/hostess that quickly (and sneakily) add sugar, calories and alcohol we were not planning on
Don’t make food the center of attention
Remember the reason for the season and let time with friends and family trump the food.
If it’s your party try to set up plenty of areas to draw guests away from the food, like a funny picture station, gift exchange, cozy chairs around the tree etc. If it’s a family gathering bring a craft or activity to do together so you make the most of the time together and keep your hand busy with something other than eating.
So try these tips and go have a Happy Holiday!