10 Tips to Keep It Slim at Holiday Parties

December 7, 2012

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holiday foodHoliday parties with co-workers, family, and friends can be an eating danger zone, but being on a weight loss program doesn’t mean you have to miss the fun. Discover 10 ways to navigate the holiday social scene with your goals intact.

 

  1. Eat an Apple Before You Go: Arriving at the party ravenous will just encourage poor food choices. Eat an apple (or other filling but low-calorie snack) before the party, and you’ll be less likely to overeat, studies show.
  2. Fill up on the Good Stuff: There are usually a few healthy picks at every gathering, so fill your plate with fresh fruit, green salad, and fresh veggies first. This way, you’ll be diving into dessert with an already full stomach, making you more likely to eat less.
  3. Limit Your Splurges: Survey the buffet table and decide what two to three picks are most appealing. There’s no reason to have a deviled egg if you don’t really like them. Save those calories for a few bites of something you’ll really savor.
  4. Be Calorie-Wise: Sure, those little fried wonton appetizers look harmless, but a shocking number of calories can hide in a small package. Unless it’s a “splurge” item, avoid high-calorie fare like cheese, dips, fried foods, and sausage. If you do indulge, just have a bite or two, not a heaping helping.
  5. Focus on the Fun: Before you walk into the party, make a mental note that you are there to focus on socializing, not on the food. Mix and mingle away from the buffet line to reduce temptation.
  6. Beware of Liquid Calories: Eggnog and other seasonal drinks are full of calories you can easily cut by sticking to my beverage of choice – water. Other calorie-free or low-calorie options include hot tea, iced tea, or plain coffee.
  7. Own Your Anxiety: Nervous because of the social setting? Instead of heading for food to cope with your emotions, try smiling. Take a deep breath, and introduce yourself to other guests. Take the conversation away from the food to avoid snacking while chatting.
  8. Be a People Watcher: Social settings can be a great place to observe behaviors that work and those that don’t. Instead of focusing on yourself, step back and survey the room. Is someone hovering over the buffet? Is someone else the confident life of the party? Don’t be afraid to pick up a new habit, just make sure it’s a positive influence.
  9. Have an Out: If your resolve is caving in, be ready to say your goodbyes and make a speedy exit before you do something you’ll regret. Giving yourself permission to leave if you need to takes the pressure off giving into those cravings.
  10. Get Up and Get Back at It: Even if you fail miserably at your effort to stay on track at a party, the best approach is to learn what you can from the experience. Get right back on track instead of giving up or beating yourself up. If you stuck to your plan at the party, stay the course, and consider rewarding yourself with a non-edible treat, such as a massage, for a job well done. Remember: Persistence is what pays off in the end, not perfection.

 

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