It’s that time of year where holiday parties seem to be everywhere. There’s the office holiday party, the kids’ holiday parties, the friends’ holiday party, and everything in between. While the parties are a wonderful time to celebrate with friends, family, and coworkers, they can be an absolute nightmare as you look to continue your healthy eating goals throughout the end of the year and into 2016. However, if you stick to the tips below, holiday parties can be another way to meet your healthy eating goals and leave you with tons of energy for the entire holiday season.
- It’s OKAY to eat “bad” food – Why? Because there is no such thing as bad food and I guarantee, if you say absolutely no to “bad” food, at some point, you’re going to give in and gorge on said bad food until your belly is ready to pop. The solution is to eat the “bad” food in moderation and only eat those foods that you really like. If you don’t like apple pie, pass it up but make sure to have a very small portion of your favorite pumpkin pie, and savor every. single, bite.
- Load up on fruits and veggies – Parties provide the perfect opportunity to fill up on fresh fruits and veggies that can be difficult to keep stocked in your own home. Most parties aren’t complete without a fruit and/or vegetable tray so scope it out, fill up half or more of your plate from the fruit and/or veggie tray, and enjoy! A friendly reminder, use the dip sparingly, they tend to be loaded with calories and fat.
- Use a smaller plate – Find the dessert plates and use one as your main plate. A smaller plate will result in smaller portions.
- Say no to seconds – Dish out what you think is an appropriate amount for you to eat at the party then stick to that. Period.
- Hang out away from the food – If you can see and smell the food, you’ll eat more. Find a spot outside of the kitchen and away from the serving areas to call yours for the evening.
- Keep a drink in your hand – It’s difficult to balance a drink and plate while attempting to eat. If you keep a drink in your hand, you’re less likely to pick up random appetizers and food.
- Think your drink – Egg nog and other holiday beverages can be filled with more calories than your favorite dessert. Stick to the low calorie or calorie-free options.
- Eat a small meal before you go – If you go to a party starving, you’ll probably ignore all of these tips and head for the first item you see. Eat a small meal before you go and then pick a few things to snack on during the party.
- Bring a healthy dish – If you want to ensure there is a healthy item that you will enjoy, offer to bring it. Your host(ess) will love you!
- Don’t forget physical activity – How about standing instead of sitting during these parties? Walk around, make new friends. For family-friendly parties, start a game with kids and adults that is physical activity focused. Party at your neighbors? Try walking there instead of driving.
I hope these tips help you as you look to make it through the holiday party season. Remember, it’s okay to splurge every now and again as long as you can quickly get back on track. This time of year is about enjoying our family and friends and sometimes that means eating some of your favorite foods as well!
Today we feature OWG guest blogger and childhood obesity consultant, Melodie Griffin. Melodie’s passion lies in the prevention of childhood obesity through the school and early learning settings. All programs Melodie promotes are fully approved by her home based lab rats, five year old son, Howie, and two year old daughter, Hope. You can connect with Melodie on her Facebook page, WellConnect LLC.