It’s that time of year again, filled with parties, wonderful treats and many opportunities to overindulge. The holiday cocktail party with the buffet spread of goodies can be the most dangerous. How do you navigate a holiday party when everything is so tempting?
Here are a few ideas:
Eat before you go
Have a healthy snack or meal before the party. Often the buffet choices are high in fat and in salt, taking the edge off your hunger will help you enjoy a few treats rather than having to satisfy your hunger with less desirable choices.
Take a plate
Put a few choices on a plate and then leave the food area and do not return. It is difficult to avoid continuous snacking when you stand next to the table.
Keep moving – you’ll burn more calories, talk to more people and have a better time.
Drink something warm first
If you are cold, your body thinks you need more food. Drinking something warm will help stem your hunger.
Alternate the alcohol
Go ahead and have the glass of wine if you want it, but try alternating sparkling water with a twist. Not only will it decrease your calorie intake, but also it will help you keep a clear head.
Wear uncomfortable pants
If you are really worried about overindulging, wear something uncomfortable around your middle – it will help.
Bring your own food
If you are asked to bring something to share, make it something you can eat without guilt — veggies and low-cal dip for example. You’ll be surprised how popular it will be.
Keep your hands busy
Holding a drink in one hand and a napkin, bag or plate in another will keep your hands off the food.
Be the host (even if you are not)
Focus on making introductions, seeking out the “wall flowers” and catching up with friends. You’ll be too busy to visit the food table over and over.
Make good choices. If there is something decadent, have a small portion, enjoy it and move on. Choose items that are closest to their natural form (not breaded and fried or covered in sauce) for example, whole shrimp, bruchetta, fruits and vegetables.
Above all, remember the season is about the friends and family who gather – not guilt over what we do or do not eat. Focus on making the most of the time you have together.
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Eliz Greene is the Busy Woman’s Guide to a Health. Drawing on her experience surviving a massive heart attack while seven-months pregnant with twins, struggling to lose the 80 pounds gained during her pregnancy, and her background as an adaptive movement specialist, Eliz developed simple strategies and tips to help other busy women be more active, eat better and manage your stress.
As the Director of the Embrace Your Heart Wellness Initiative, Eliz travels the country energizing and inspiring audiences in keynotes and workshops on women’s heart health. She writes one of the top 100 health and wellness blogs. Find more at www.EmbraceYourHeart.com