Your Holiday Party Survival Plan

When I talk to members about their health and fitness goals and struggles, one of the things I hear so frequently is how difficult it can be to stay on track this time of year. The holiday season is full of social gatherings, work events, family dinners and other occasions where food and drinks are the main attraction. And, more often than not, broccoli and cauliflower aren’t on the menu.
But, as you know if you’ve read other newsletters, I’m not one to preach deprivation. I’m not an advocate for restrictive diets that severely limit the foods you can enjoy. Instead, I’m all for enjoying everything in moderation. One easy way to keep yourself in check this holiday season is to follow the 80/20 rule. It’s simple, make sure 80% of the food and beverage choices you make are healthy and smart. This leaves the other 20% for fun and indulgent choices. It’s also helpful to make a list of your top 3 favorite holiday treats and commit to having just those. Why waste calories on things you don’t absolutely love anyway?
Here are a few other tips to help you through your holiday social circuit:
  • Eat a small but filling meal or large snack before you go to a party.
  • Situate yourself on the opposite side of the room from the food table to create distance from tempting treats and snacks. You’ll eat less of them if you have to make a trip to get them.
  • If you’re going to drink alcohol, start with something soft first (club soda, water, etc.), then alternate between the two.
  • At a party, you’ll likely eat the most of whatever you take first. So, if you have the option, start off with a salad, fresh cut veggies, hummus or soup. This will fill you up and leave less room for overdoing it on the main course, sides and desserts.
  • Use a smaller plate. Your natural tendency is to fill the empty space on your plate. So, if you’re using a smaller plate, you’ll take less food. If you find you’re not satisfied after the first filling, you can always go back for seconds. But the break in between is a natural regulator to ask yourself if you’re really still hungry.
  • Don’t feel pressured to eat or drink something just because someone offers it or encourages you to indulge. Simply say, “No thank you.” You can always go back and have some later if you decide it’s something you really want.
Recent Posts