Keeping healthy during the holiday season can be a struggle. There are gatherings, celebrations, baking, eating and more. It is easy to eat poorly, get less sleep, and not move.
Festive parties are everywhere. You are probably invited to at least 5 parties between December 1 and Christmas…the business parties where you work or friends’ and family parties, you will be going most nights. Then you will enjoy at least one, if not two or three, family Christmas meals. Finally, you will top it all off with a New Year’s Eve Party. That is a lot of food in front of you.
How in the world do you survive, if not thrive, during the endless parties filled with mostly junk food and alcohol? You are busy, so here are a few quick tips.
15 Tips to Thriving at Christmas Parties
- Make a plan now as to how you will handle parties. Decide on a plan and stick to it. That can be half the battle.
- Eat healthy throughout the day. If you starve yourself, you will tend to overeat the sweet foods and foods that are mostly carbs.
- Eat something small that is healthy before you go to a party. My favorite snack is a tablespoon or two of coconut flakes, a tablespoon of sunflower or pumpkin seeds and a few frozen organic blueberries. This is snack gives me a little sweet satisfaction with healthy nutrition and fats to keep me satiated. I don’t feel deprived, so I don’t have to eat everything I see.
- Bring along something healthy to share, if you can. Then you have at least one option to eat that you know is good for you.
- View the spread. Walk around the food first before you take anything. Decide what you would enjoy and might be the healthiest options. This can help you eat less by not taking everything you see, filling up your plate with the first options and then piling it higher because your absolutely favorite food is at the end of the food. Choose wisely.
- Take the smallest plate possible. You will feel like you are getting more because the food you take fills up your plate. Yes, a psychological trick, but it works.
- Load up on as many vegetables as you want to fill your plate.
- Choose the healthiest meats for protein. Stay away from deep-fried anything. The oils used are never healthy and they are loaded with calories.
- Indulge in one or two small treats that you love to eat. Enjoy them. Take time to eat them slowly. Don’t gobble them down. Let your body and mind know you are enjoying something.
- Get away from the food. Whenever possible take food and move away from the food display or go sit somewhere.
- Keep yourself busy with conversation or dancing or whatever else is going on, so you don’t think about the treats.
- Skip seconds. If you must go back for seconds, make it only vegetables and fruits and one small sweet.
- If someone asks you to try a sweet you don’t want, tell them “no”. You don’t owe them an explanation. But if you feel you need to, tell them, ” you have a sensitivity to that, your doctor told you to cut back, or you already had some when they weren’t looking” You are in control and you get to decide what you want to eat and not eat. Don’t let someone else have the power over you of what you eat.
- If you try something and don’t really like it, stop eating it immediately. Don’t put something in your body that doesn’t give you pleasure or nourishment. Don’t worry, the starving children in African won’t be eating it, so throw it away. If it makes you feel better, donate $1 to a homeless shelter or food pantry for every piece of food you throw away. You will be doing your body and health good as well as a charity.
- Skip the fruity drinks and stick to one glass of wine or one drink of clear, hard liquor. Those have the least calories and usually least sugar as well. Then ask for a bottle of water or seltzer. Be the designated driver if you need an excuse not to drink.
There you have it, 15 tips to thriving at Christmas parties. As a bonus tip, remember you are going to the gatherings for the conversation and friendships. It is a great time of year to reconnect with friends. Focus on the relationships and not the food.
Finally, some words of advice from my friend, Deb E. Be careful of what you eat in December because you will be wearing it in January…truth.
Comment below on your favorite tip to thrive at parties with lots of food.
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