It’s the time for holiday parties and gatherings and with them come lots of food, drinks and… more food. Goals regarding your weight whether it is to lose weight, avoid weight gain, or just healthy eating seem more difficult when the holidays and their abundance of delicious foods, treats and goodies come around. How can one stick to their goals with so much temptation around? Let’s break it down to before, during and after.
Before your holiday party make sure to have your regular meals that day at home. Don’t try to save your calories for an evening event, you can end up eating more calories overall when you show up to a party hungry. Along with eating your regular meals, make sure you are stay hydrated! Dehydration can lead to over eating as well so don’t forget your water and make it your beverage of choice to avoid extra, and many times empty, calories from beverages.
During the holiday party make sure to keep portions in check. All foods can be enjoyed but they shouldn’t all be enjoyed in the same amounts. It can be difficult to know exactly what portion would be good for certain foods at parties. An easy way to keep portions in check is by using one dinner sized plate and divide it into sections. Then you fill that section with one, level scoop of an option. Once your sections are filled your plate is ready. If you divide it into four sections you get four choices, divide it into six sections you get six choices. It’s also a good idea to make sure you have at least one section for a carbohydrate/bread/starch choice, one section for a vegetable choice, and one protein choice. Fruit servings can be used with dessert and not that dairy and fat servings aren’t important but we will probably get that in some or all of the dishes at a holiday party. Speaking of dessert… use a smaller plate and make sure to be mindful of when you're full.
After you have enjoyed the time, the people and the foods of your holiday party make sure to get active. Walking around your neighborhood to see Christmas lights, walking around a mall, or getting a run or an exercise class in are all great ideas! It really doesn’t matter what you do as long as you get up and do it!
Now, go back to the before section because those suggestions can be used all the time. Get regular well-balanced meals in, stay hydrated and stay active.
All three are a part of a healthy lifestyle and will help you meet your holiday and non-holiday goals. Don’t be too hard on yourself, it’s not a punishment. Enjoy your party because remember that it is about more then the food that is there. It’s about the reason for the season and love!