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Holiday Party Tips

posted Dec 11, 2015, 9:05 AM by   [ updated Jan 8, 2018, 2:28 PM by Tracy Ducker, MS, RDN ]
Holiday parties can be a source of stress for many reasons, but being worried about derailing your healthy lifestyle shouldn’t be one of them.  This week, we’re going to focus on the main event, the holiday party itself.

First of all, you must plan. Add your holiday gatherings to your calendar and take a good look at when each event is. See if you can fit in some extra exercise before the gathering to get started on the right foot. While you have your calendar out, go ahead and schedule that exercise. Physical activity is a great way to boost your mood, decrease stress, and burn a few extra calories before you indulge.

Next, take some notes on what type of party it will be and decide how you will navigate the situation:
  • Buffet: limit yourself to 1 plate and fill ½ of it with fruits and vegetables, ¼ with protein, and ¼ with starch. If appetizers and desserts are calling your name, choose only your favorites and cut into miniature or bite-sized portions. 
  • Sit-down/plated meal: start by taking just a few bites of each item and only finish your favorite items on the plate. Chances are, another course is coming! 
  • Heavy hors d'oeuvres and/or desserts: eat a balanced snack beforehand like half a sandwich, yogurt with fruit and nuts, or a cup of broth-based soup to take the edge off of your hunger. Again, only choose your favorite items from the spread and savor these high-calorie, bite-sized treats. 
If you’re not sure what all will be served, do a quick assessment once you see the spread. Take a look at everything that’s available and add your favorites to your plate first. Enjoy those items and then wait to see if you feel satisfied after those first items. Chances are, you will. If you stop at this point, you won’t end up uncomfortably full. Always keep in mind that you can grab another nibble later if you have room, but once you are too full, you are stuck that way for hours!

Finally, plan some fun outfits to wear and rock them! If you are in a favorite dress or figure-flattering outfit, you are more likely to eat a bit less and socialize a bit more. Socializing-isn’t that what these gatherings are all about anyway?