Eating Healthy at Parties
The holidays are just around the corner and that means many of us have begun to wonder how we will stay on track.
If you have made changes in your life and your diet to be healthier, the holidays can make it much more difficult to maintain those changes.
This article is focused on helping you to navigate those holiday parties more successfully.
Many times your family and holiday parties will include all the foods we are trying to avoid. That can make it difficult to eat healthy while you are attending these parties.
In our family, most of the time these gatherings are pot luck or the kind where everyone brings a similar type of food. When this is the case, I always take a dish or two of foods that I normally eat to be sure there will be something healthy for me to eat.
This also allows me to introduce some of these more healthy dishes to my family.
This includes your extended family as well. When the opportunity arises I always take some of my favorite healthy dishes, with the hope that they will love them as much as I do.
Sharing your favorite dishes can help you in the long run too. If you get more people on board with your healthier eating plan, they may eventually want to bring their own healthy dishes to the next gathering.
Here are some additional helpful hints to help you survive those holiday parties:
- Eat a light meal at home before you go to the party. This will help keep you satisfied so you don’t feel starved when you get there. If this light meal includes protein and fiber it’s even better. Those will keep you full much longer.
- Definitely do NOT skip meals before the party! While it may seem like a good idea, the reality is that it will make you even hungrier. Like I’ve said before, people are much more likely to make bad food choices when they are hungry.
- When you are at the party, drink plenty of water. Then if you decide you need to snack, wait for 30 minutes. This will give you time to relax and survey your food choices. The extra 30 minutes will make it easier for you to make better food choices.
- There will be a lot of different types of food available so if you don’t love it, don’t eat it! Survey the food options before you fill your plate and if you don’t love it, don’t put it on your plate. You should also skip the food choices that are available all year long.
- Chew gum or have a mint!
- If you drink then alternate alcohol with nonalcoholic beverages. If you drink water between each alcoholic drink, you will cut your calories in ½ because you will drink less alcohol.
- Bring healthy food to parties. If you’re asked to bring food to the party, bring something healthy that you enjoy. That way you will know that there will be at least one healthy item you can eat.
- Put your food on a napkin instead of a plate. Parties usually have plates of different sizes for people to fill, and they usually fill them up. However, a napkin works just as well for most snacks and they only allow you to put small amounts on it.
- Hit the veggie or fruit trays. Sometimes you can get full just by focusing on these trays.
I hope this gives you some ideas on how to get through your holiday parties. Healthier choices will allow you to focus more on the true spirit of celebration instead of feeling guilty about the bad choices you made (and those choices will likely make you feel sick and sluggish too).