You are probably already in the midst of holiday parties and end of the year gatherings. The month of December is great for catching up with family, friends, and coworkers but it can also be a challenge on the weight and waistline. The more parties you attend leads to more evenings where you are veering away from your typical eating habits. Instead of giving in and figuring you’ll just get back on track in the New Year try these 5 tricks at your next holiday party.
1. Don’t arrive hungry. This cannot be emphasized too much. Often people cut back on how much they eat during the day to “save” calories for a party. This approach will backfire. If you arrive at a party hungry you are less likely to make the best choices at the appetizer table. Often you’ll find yourself eating more than you intended because you were too hungry to think clearly.
2. Scope out the spread. Since you aren’t starving when you first arrive take a few minutes to look at all the food and drink choices offered. This way you won’t be tempted to overload your plate with food that you may not actually want. Having a game plan for what to choose when approaching the appetizer table will help you be strategic about how much you eat.
3. Choose a smaller plate. If there are 2 plate sizes offered stick to the smaller plate size. This gives you less surface area to place your food on and will help limit the total amount of calories you consume. Since you didn’t arrive starving and you scoped out the choices you should have no problem selecting reasonable serving sizes of the food on your plate.
4. Be strategic about where you stand. This tip will be key - don’t stand right next to the appetizer table when chatting with others and eating your food! It is just too tempting to just reach over and grab one more bite of something. Instead, serve yourself and then stand at least 5 feet away (this should be far enough unless you have magical arms) from the appetizer table so you can enjoy the conversation and not be tempted by the food.
5. Pace Yourself. Okay, now you aren’t starving, you know what food and drink are available at the party, and you are standing out of arms reach of the table, perfect! Now pace yourself. You’ll be at the party for a few hours so there is no need to eat everything in the first 30 minutes and then going back an hour later for more, this leads to overeating. Instead, pick what appetizers you are interested in and what desserts you want to try later. This way you have a plan for eating over the course of the evening with overindulging.
Holiday parties are a great time to catch up with others and celebrate the year. These tricks will help you keep your calories in check without forcing you to overthink anything.
What are your favorite healthy party tricks?