Monday, December 3, 2012

Holiday Party Survival Guide

Welcome to December, or as I lovingly call it, The Weight Gain Month. We just made it through candy-filled Halloween and the feast we call Thanksgiving and are looking forward to Hanukah, Christmas, New Years and so on which are all also accompanied by excessive amounts of food. The holiday parties that consume the last part of December can cause some of the biggest diet traps of the season. But not to worry, you don’t have to finish out 2012 with a belly Santa of which would be proud. Here’s the holiday party diet survival plan:

  1. Don’t go hungry. A great tactic to ensure that you won’t over eat parties is to not go to them hungry. Eat a light but satisfying snack before you go. A half turkey sandwich on whole grain bread, veggies and hummus or a protein shake should do the trick.
  2. Bring the veggies. Make sure that there is something at the party to fill up your plate that is filling and calorie-safe. If you are hosting or helping fill out a spread at a gathering, fill it with veggies and hummus. That way, you can fill up on peppers/carrots/zucchini/etc. so you don’t go overboard on the cookies and such.
  3. Take a step back. You see that delicious food on the seasonally decorated table and want to make a bee line for the buffet. Go for it, but once you’ve gone through the line once, plant yourself out of arms reach of the goodies and better yet, keep your back to the food table. With this little trick, you are less likely to snack absent-mindedly.
  4. Exercise portion control. Holiday parties should not be viewed as all you can eat binges. Fill up on fresh veggies, fruits and a small amount your other favorite treats…”favorite” being the key word here. Don’t waste precious calories on food that you don’t love. Pick out your favorites and savor slowly.
  5. Drink and be Merry. If you decide to have a cocktail or two at your next holiday bash, choose champagne (120 calories in a 7 oz flute) or wine (100 calories for a 4 oz glass) over chocolate martinis (315 calories for a 7 oz drink) and eggnog (343 calories in 8 oz).
  6. Skip the hangover. Schedule a sweat session with a friend (who you know wont bail on you) for early the morning after parties. This is make you think about how much you are drinking, plus you are burning calories from your “favorite” treats that you indulged in AND zapping fatigue and holiday stress all at once.

Armed with these tips, you are ready to go to holiday parties, family get togethers, cookie exchanges and wherever else the next few weeks take you. Remember, it’s okay to indulge every once in a while, just don’t make it a habit.

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