As the holidays approach, parties become numerous along with the challenge of keeping your commitment to healthful eating. If you are a guest at a dinner party or other gathering, consider these tips to keep your night healthy, happy and safe:
- If you plan on treating yourself later, start your day with a small meal that includes whole grains, fruit, low-fat or fat-free dairy and protein, such as eggs, ham or peanut butter.
- Don’t starve yourself beforehand. Rather, eat a small, lower-calorie meal or snack including fruit and vegetables, so you aren’t tempted to overdo your calorie intake for the day.
- Don’t rush to eat. Socialize and settle into the festivities before you eat.
- Move your socializing away from the buffet or appetizer trays. This minimizes the unconscious nibbling.
- Hold a calorie-free beverage in your dominate hand. You are less likely to nibble if your dominate hand is busy.
- Take a healthy dish with you to share.
- Survey party buffets before filling your plate. Choose your favorite foods and skip your least favorite. Include vegetables and fruits to keep your plate balanced.
- Eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed. Savor your favorite holiday treats while eating small portions. Sit down, get comfortable, and enjoy.
- Be careful with beverages. Alcohol can lessen inhibitions and induce overeating; non-alcoholic beverages can be full of calories and sugar.
When it comes to drinking alcohol, start with a calorie-free, nonalcoholic beverage. Satisfy your thirst before having an alcoholic drink. Moderate alcohol consumption is defined as up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks for men.
Keep in mind, even a single drink will affect your reflexes for several hours. If you plan to drink, keep your holidays merry for everyone by designating a driver who won’t be drinking.
The holidays are a great time for celebrating with friends and family over food and drinks. With just a little preparation, you can keep off the extra holiday pounds and still enjoy all that the season has to offer.