7 Ways to Eat Smart at Holiday Parties
Holiday parties bring buffets, bottomless punch bowls, and baked goods… oh my! But joining in on the celebration doesn’t have to spell diet disaster. Party like it’s 1999 without the scale budging by using these tips to eat smart at holiday parties.
Be Extra “Good” Before
If a party is on the calendar for this weekend, be extra diligent about making healthier choices and controlling portions all week long. Doing so will help compensate for any indulgences the celebration will bring. Just don’t skip meals to “save up” calories for the soiree… that always backfires.
Graze Before You Go
Never go to a party hungry. All the will-power you can muster is no match for a rumbling tummy in the presence of a buffet. Have a small snack — ideally, one comprised of both protein and carbs, such as an apple and some reduced-fat cheddar cheese — about an hour before to keep hunger pangs at bay.
Remove Yourself from Temptation
Does it seem that the spread pulls you in like a magnet the moment you enter the party? Resist the force — don’t stand or sit near the buffet. After all, a party is for seeing lots of different friends, mingling and meeting new people. And you certainly can’t do that if you’re glued to the spot you secured right there next to the pigs in the blanket!
Dress the Part
My friend Diane swears by wearing a tightly-fitting skirt or moving down her belt a notch or two when she swings by a particularly tempting buffet. She says a constricting fit makes overeating very uncomfortable, if not virtually impossible.
Master the Munchies
Steer clear of traditional appetizers like cheese straws or sausage balls. Fresh veggies and low-fat dip, deli meat slices, reduced-fat cheese, whole-wheat crackers, and shrimp cocktail are all healthful alternatives to typical party fare.
Take the Focus Off Food
We show others we care for them by preparing food for them. We serve food or go out to eat as a way of socializing. But by making it a point to focus on the fun and joy of the holidays and time with friends and family, not just the season’s eatings, you will be less likely to overeat or indulge in foods you would normally forgo.
It can be overwhelming to see a wide variety of foods available. Before you put any food on your plate, think about those holiday foods you really look forward to each year. You only have so many calories to spend, so instead of filling up your plate with a lot of foods that you could eat anytime, pick a few of your absolute favorites and enjoy!