If you’re struggling to stay on the healthy eating bandwagon come December, you, like me, understandably dread the pending office, family, and social holiday gatherings. Not only are most centered around food with the odd ugly Christmas sweater thrown in for laughs—they also focus on enjoying some holiday cheer (and by that I mean plenty of cocktails).
These infamous holiday soirees can sabotage your healthy living goals faster than Santa can devour a plate of shortbread cookies. Luckily, there we have ten low calorie tips for surviving the holiday party season…
Eat a big lunch or dinner (if it’s an evening cocktail affair) prior to the party. The worst mistake you can make is skipping a meal in order to save up calories for the event. You’ll only end up binging on everything in sight because you’re starving. Instead, eat healthy and sensibly throughout the day to set a tone for the evening’s festivities.
Drink bottled water and herbal teas to hydrate for the party. Many folks mistake dehydration for hunger and overeat to satiate it. Dehydration mixed with excess alcohol will only dehydrate you further and lead to binge eating.
Avoid the Punch Bowl
View the communal punch bowl as a secret stash of calories just waiting to sabotage your diet—one cup at a time. Even if the punch is “non alcoholic” the sugary combination of booze, soda, and fruit juices will make you prone to over drinking.
Congregate Far From the Food
To avoid overindulging on finger foods, select a small plate of food and circulate away from the buffet table. Taking the conversation away from temptation will put a stop to mindless eating.
Limit Alcoholic Consumption
There is something to the advice “pace yourself” when it comes to festive cheer in your holiday cup. It’s quite easy to get caught up in the celebration and suddenly forget how many cocktails you’ve imbibed. Instead, limit yourself to 2 glasses of red wine (75 calories a pop) and then opt for sparkling water to avoid becoming the drunken talk at the office party.
Don’t Succumb to Food Pressure
Remember, just because food is offered does not mean you have to gobble it up. No, you have control over what goes in your gullet so select an array of healthy appetizers with a few bites of your favorite indulgent treats!
Take the Focus Off the Food
Food may be the focus at most holiday parties, but it doesn’t have to remain top of mind for you. Instead, grab some coworkers and play a holiday game, dance, sing holiday karaoke, or heck, make snow angels. Take the focus away from indulging and make activity a new tradition.
Count Your Food Blessings
By that I mean, choose finger foods by napkin or canapé stick. This way you will keep track of exactly how much you’ve consumed. But don’t put a limit on healthy salads, veggie sticks, or the fruit platter.
Allow a Small Splurge
If you do end up having a piece of “Martha’s famous cheesecake” or downing a few glasses of “Paul’s famous homemade beer” don’t punish yourself. Allow yourself small indulgences on the holidays and set your sights on healthy eating and exercising for the remainder of the holidays.
Dodge a Drunken Moment
Sure, you might blame too many cocktails on an office dalliance under the mistletoe, but you’ll have to live with the fallout. Do yourself a favor and keep the drinks to a minimum. A work event is mostly professional business, after all.