8 tips for surviving the diet-killing holiday party circuit
Holiday time, more than any other time of the year, presents us with numerous dietary challenges, from navigating the office potluck to those numerous holiday gatherings. With a little planning, however, you can make it from Halloween to the New Year with your waistline intact, and still enjoy the food and fun that comes with this time of year.
- Start your day with breakfast. A breakfast that includes protein and complex carbohydrates, such as egg whites and oatmeal, will keep you filling fuller longer, making holiday indulgences less tempting.
- When at the office potluck, don’t feel obligated to try every dish. Remember a potluck is about socializing as much as food. So enjoy the company but make good selections. Consider bringing a ready-to-eat pouch of salmon or tuna, then choosing raw vegetables (without the dip) or leafy salads with light dressing or consider bringing a healthy dish for yourself and others to share.
- When attending a holiday party, don’t show up hungry. While it’s fun to indulge a little, it is too easy to over indulge. Don’t skip meals to try to make up for party calories. Consider a healthy snack or light meal before you go. Once there, load up on veggies, and avoid cheeses, chips and high fat meats. Just one small square of cheese can have more than 100 calories.
- While a cocktail or glass of wine won’t destroy your diet. It is important to keep it limited. Not only is alcohol high in empty calories, but it also disrupts your body’s fat burning ability for hours and can inhibit muscle growth. Consider making your first “drink” a glass of water, which also will help make you feel fuller. Drink water before and after a beer, cocktail or glass of wine.
- Don’t fear healthy snacks. Healthy snacks between meals will help keep you full and your metabolism humming. Consider a salad with light dressing, an apple with low-fat cottage cheese, or a Greek yogurt.
- Eat sweets in moderation. Consider cutting that cookie or brownie in half or share your dessert with a friend.
- Plan to exercise. Don’t miss workouts. If you don’t currently exercise, try adding a 10 to 15 minute brisk walk each day.
- Relax. Eat healthy most of the time. And if you indulge here and there, just get back on track as soon as possible.