It’s almost that time of year again where there’ll be an abundance of holiday parties, and with them, nearly unlimited treats, snacks, desserts, and alcohol. We’ll help you figure out how to best navigate these parties so that you don’t walk away from each one completely destroying your diet. Rather, you’ll be able to strike a healthy balance that allows you to have fun and socialize while staying on track with your fitness goals.
So without further ado, let’s get started and look at our top tips to staying on track during the holidays.
First and Foremost: Stay Hydrated!
This is advice that almost everyone can benefit from, and at any time of the year. But it is doubly important come the holidays. Drinking a lot of water and staying hydrated has tons of benefits that you can take advantage of. First, when it comes time for snacks or even the big dinner, you’ll be more full than otherwise. You’ll be less likely to splurge by eating too much or having a ton of dessert (but hey, a little bit is still okay!).
Not only that, but staying hydrated will let you stay energized during the party. Furthermore, if it was a late night or you drank a little bit (of alcohol), you’ll feel much better the next day if you stayed hydrated.
A great way to stay hydrated is to make sure you drink water when you wake up, consistently throughout the day, and before you go. Whether it’s a glass of wine (or two) of wine with your holiday dinner or a mixed drink while socializing, staying hydrated by matching each alcoholic drink with a glass of water will help you stay on top of your diet.
Next Up: Stick to Your Diet throughout the Day, and Eat Before Going Out!
For one reason or another, it’s easy to fall off track during the holidays and especially during the day of a party. Perhaps you have some things to buy for it or are even spending the time to set up and host it yourself. Either way, it’s important that you maintain your regular diet leading up to the party so that you aren’t overly hungry when it’s time. Not only that, but you don’t want to be constantly thinking about food while socializing with your family and friends!
The best plan is to eat like it’s a regular day as well as enjoying a meal or shake before going out. This will make you less hungry when hors d’oeuvres start coming out, and doubly so when it’s time for desserts. It’s okay to enjoy yourself but you’ll want to do so in moderation, and avoiding heavy hunger pains can be one way to do that.
Choose Wisely: There are Usually Healthy Options Available
The best options sometimes include bruschetta, smoked salmon on toast, chicken kabobs, or fruit. When it comes to indulging in popular choices, look for whole or multi-grain options when it comes to chips and salsa, guacamole, or crackers and cheese. Doing so will help you achieve small wins and feel good while still enjoying yourself.
Don’t Be Afraid to Pass
Sometimes, there’s just no good reason to eat the cake other than to be politeful – and it’s okay to pass in moments like these.
Whether your weekends are already packed with parties or you’ve already reached your drink limit you set for yourself for the night, be comfortable in saying no to some opportunities so that you can stay on course for the goals you set yourself.
Stick to Home-Cooked Dishes and Food
One of the best things you can do at parties is to avoid the processed and pre-packaged food that some people might pick up at the grocery store. These are often in the form of some frozen foods (like pies), appetizers, and desserts. Take out and fast food is rampant during the holiday season as well, such as ordering pizza for parties or getting takeout Chinese food for New Years.
If you can, try to stick to home cooked foods. It might be a bit more tedious to cook something like a huge potluck for all of your guests (especially after all of the preparation that you probably just put into Thanksgiving), but it can be rewarding and healthy for all involved.
Enjoy Yourself, But Look for the Small Wins
During the holidays, it’s a time to rejoice with family and friends and sometimes just let go. Remember, it’s not the end of the world if you completely fall off your diet during a party or two. It can even help you if you’ve been really strict about your diet in the days or weeks leading up to it.
One of the best ways to enjoy yourself at a party is to look for the small wins. It means you don’t have to sacrifice altogether, but look for compromise. A glass of water with every drink, choosing healthier options when it comes to appetizers or the main meal, and taking care of yourself during the day-of and day-after.
Remember our five simple rules: stay hydrated, stick to your diet throughout the day, look for healthy options, don’t be afraid to pass on some food/drinks/parties, and stick to home-made meals and dishes. You’ll feel great and won’t feel like you’ve missed out by skipping fun parties and gatherings altogether.