*Originally published 11/13/19
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! I love the time between Halloween and New Year’s, because it’s filled with quality time with family and friends, and all of those fun holiday parties. It’s important to spend time relaxing and enjoying the company of your loved ones around the holidays, but it also presents a challenge when you’re trying to work on your health. There’s plenty of tempting treats, indulgent holiday meals, alcohol is usually flowing, and it feels like there’s some sort of reason to celebrate every other day!
Today, I want to share some of my tried and true tips for staying on track at a party, without depriving yourself of all of the fun.
First, make sure to eat your normal meals throughout the day before the party. If the party is in the evening, eat breakfast and lunch as you normally would, and maybe even eat dinner if the party doesn’t involve a sit down meal. If you show up to a party hangry, there’s no telling how much you might eat. Getting enough calories and nutrients before you get to the event will help you keep a clear head, and you’ll be more likely to enjoy the spread, but not eat so much that you feel bloated and tired the rest of the night.
Second, when you’re navigating a potluck style party, scope out all of your options before filling up a plate. More than likely, there will a veggie tray (this is my go-to when I have to bring a dish to pass, it ensures there will be at least one nutritious option for me!), some fruit, or some other nutrient dense options. Fill half of your plate with veggies and other healthier options, and then take smaller portions of the things you want to indulge in to fill the rest of your plate. This way, you’ll get to try all of the delicious and seasonal foods your friends worked so hard to make without overindulging.
Next, make sure to stay hydrated. For every alcoholic drink you have, try to have a glass of water too. This will help you from getting so intoxicated that you lose all inhibitions and eat everything in sight, and it will also help you from feeling hungover (whether from alcohol or from food!) the next day.
Another thing I find helpful-if it’s possible, after making a pass through the buffet, try to find a spot in a different room, or on the opposite side of the room from the food to hang out. When you’re standing right next to a giant spread of party food, it’s almost impossible to keep from going back again and again for a little of this or a little of that. Having some distance from the food will require you to consciously remove yourself from a conversation in order to go back for more.
Finally, if you do indulge a little too much at a party, don’t beat yourself up about it! You probably had a great time making memories with your family and friends, and if you had a few too many cookies or an extra glass of wine or two, it doesn’t mean you’ve ruined all of the work you’ve done up until that point. You can get right back to your normal diet the next day, and you’ll be back on track in no time.
I hope your holiday season full of family, friends, and fun!
*If you’re interested in one on one health coaching, be sure to sign up for your free consultation today!*