Ahhhh, cookies, holiday parties and eggnog! What a joyous time of year!
Well, maybe not? It can be a really tough time of year if you’re trying to watch your weight. Enjoying the holidays doesn’t need to include gaining the average of 1-5 pounds. I may not lose weight, but I sure don’t want to gain it! Plus, too much sugar actually makes me more tired and less productive, just when my schedule is crazier than ever. I want to enjoy the holidays and be happy with how I stayed true to my healthy intentions.
I’m not suggesting you shouldn’t try Aunt Bettie’s cookies or savor a bit of eggnog. These are once a year special treats. However, you don’t have to overdo it and finish off the whole tin of cookies! (We’ve all been there!)
Being mindful and doing a little pre-planning can really help you navigate all those holiday parties where so many of us tend to overindulge.
10 tips and tricks that help me stay “happy” through the holidays.
- Eat healthy all day. “Saving” your calories will backfire if you arrive starving and feeling denied. Going to a party already hungry will send you to the food table instead of concentrating on enjoying talking with friends.
- Water. Drink a glass just before you go to an event. You will walk in feeling full and less likely to overindulge. Staying hydrated during the holidays is key to feeling better and sleeping better.
- Offer to bring a dish such as a veggie tray or fruit. This way you know there is at least one thing you can eat that fits your health goals.
- Limit the passed hors d’oeuvres. Appetizers can quickly add up to a lot of calories. Choose one or two and remember there will be more food to come.
- Scope out the buffet table and make sure to decide before you start to fill your plate which dishes you want to try. Generally seafood, veggies and salads are your friends. These will be lower in calories and higher in protein and other nutrients.
- Portion Control. Just because you are at a party doesn’t mean you need more food than any other day. Remembering that can be hard to do when there is a buffet. Just fill your plate with healthy choices and take no more than appropriate serving sizes. More of something doesn’t taste any better after the third bite!
- Dessert isn’t always necessary. Do you have a rich dessert every night at home? However, having a few bites of something special is sometimes a good idea. If you are resentful you will be more likely to throw caution to the wind. Once again, just two or three bites can satisfy your tastebuds.
- Go light on the alcohol. Pick a lighter beverage such as a spritzer or spice up a glass of bubbly water with a lime wedge. Too much alcohol can not only add on the calories but also limit your ability to resist temptations. Plus, the next day you may feel more tired which can trigger a desire for extra carbs.
- Concentrate on conversation. Make a goal to talk with at least one person you don’t know very well. It’s fun and doesn’t include calories!
- Leave at a decent time. Staying late just means you will be more tired the next day. It’s a full season of events so pace yourself!
Use these tips any time of the year at whatever parties and celebrations you attend. Holidays are meant to be joyful and we, at DinnerTime, wish you a happy and healthy holiday season.
Here are some of our favorite healthy dishes to take to a party.