Food Is Not Your Enemy

Holiday Party Survival Guide
December 6, 2011, 12:38 pm
Filed under: Events, Healthy Lifestyle, Sweets, weight loss | Tags: ,

Ugh. Another party. Your fifth in the past two weeks. You feel like your blood has been replaced by egg nog. You’re hung over and headachy at least once a week at work. You’re running on less than six hours of sleep most nights. And you’re afraid to even step on the scale, what with all those lovely passed hors d’oeuvres (Bacon-wrapped dates! Carpaccio on toast with horseradish cream sauce!) and trays and trays of butter cookies.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

You can get through holiday party season without stretch pants or an IV drip of coffee. Here’s how:

Don’t arrive on an empty stomach. With the promise of free food, it can be tempting to show up to a party hungry and with the intent of making a dinner out of the hors d’oeuvres. The end result is predictable–you lose track of how many mini salmon cakes and barbecue chicken skewers you’ve grabbed, and eat way too much overall. The better way to go is to eat a light dinner (or a hefty healthy snack) before arriving, so that you don’t feel compelled to make a beeline for the cheese tray the second after you hang your coat. You’ll be much more in control of your appetite–and therefore your choices.

Eat mindfully. Don’t shovel. Take your time to savor each and every bite. Go slow. Truly taste and enjoy the food you’re eating.

Make non-party days extra-healthy days. On days you’re not attending parties, commit to eating well–really well. Load up your plate with extra veggies. Skip the sugary treats. Drink lots of water. And make time for exercise.

Prioritize sleep. Too many late nights will throw you out of balance. Get to bed early on non-party nights, and when you do have an event, leave at a time that will still allow you to get at least seven hours of sleep.

Nurse those drinks. If you’re a drinker, decide ahead of time what your drink limit for the night will be. Then sip slowly.

Prioritize people, not food. In the end, the holidays are not about gorging ourselves–they’re about reconnecting with the people we care about, sharing, giving, and gratitude. When you arrive at a party, focus your attention on the people around you, rather than the food. Talk, dance, laugh, and maybe even say a thank you or two to the people who helped make your year a good one.

Happy holidays, everyone.


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