Holiday parties: you probably have a lot of them and you're wondering how you're going to manage to attend all of them and stay healthy this holiday season. First of all, parties are meant to be enjoyed, so do not spend your time worrying about them and how they will impact you. Worry about all of the days in between the parties and what you are doing on those days. Here are some important pointers to keep in mind when navigating the parties so that you don't wake up with a food hangover the next day, finding it hard to get back on track:
1. Pick and Choose
This time of year doesn't have to be a food binge until January. Some holiday favs are worth it, and some are ehhh...Pass on the stuff you can have any time of year and spring for foods that are special to you around this time. Passing up the pretzels for Aunt Suzie's famous chocolate chip cookies isn't such a bad trade off.
2. Keep the munchies under control
Appetizers and snacks are going to be tempting - but they aren't usually anything unique: chips/dip, cheese and crackers. But if apps are your thing, put it on a plate so that it is more controlled, give yourself 1 plate an hour (or how ever often works for the party), that way, you are enjoying what you like without over doing it.
3. Fun or Fuel?
This time of year there are so many parties and events. If you are indulging daily in that low cal ice cream treat and indulging at the parties might add up to be too much. Think fun or fuel this time of year. That means food should either be nutritious food that will fuel you through the season, or it should be fun- like a party or social event. If the food doesn't fit either of those categories, hold off until the new year.
4. Don't go hungry
If you show up to the party starving, you will over eat, most likely on appetizers and snacks. Have a healthy snack to curb your appetite some time before the party so you don't show up ready to devour your family. "Saving your calories" is actually a recipe for weight gain. Your body will be more likely to store whatever food you do eat, then burn it off like it is supposed to.
5. Be wary of saboteurs
Your family will probably try and guilt you for refusing another drink or certain treats. No one has the right to control you like that, remember why it's important to place limits and don't let your family or friends make you feel bad for not choosing to eat something. If you feel uncomfortable doing that (i.e. you grew up in an Italian household), you can always shift the reason to health. For example, instead of saying, "No thanks I am trying to watch my weight." You can say "No thanks, I am keeping an eye on my blood sugar" This is not untrue, everyone should be keeping an eye on their blood sugar. But people are way less likely to push if you give a health based reason.