With the holidays upon us, one of the ways many of us will be celebrating is by indulging in the high fat/high calorie foods that seem to define the season.
For some, certain foods bring us right back to the comfortable place where we originally feasted on them. For others, it’s simply an excuse to put our healthy eating aside until the New Year. If this is your game plan, you may just enter the New Year with the “gift” of an extra few pounds by the New Year. Since larger clothes are probably not on your wish list, how can you enjoy the holiday season guilt free? Here are a few ideas.
Let’s say you’re headed for a cocktail party. You never want to arrive hungry. Over hungry means overeating so a small snack before you go can ensure that your judgment stays in tact and you’ll make better decisions once confronted with all of the holiday goodies. For example, an apple or container of yogurt can spare you from overindulging in thousands of calories in hors d’oeuvres.
The next strategy for a cocktail party involves drinking. Pre plan the number of drinks you’ll have and stick to it. For hard liquor, keep it to a drink or two, alternating with glasses of water. For wine, use the same idea or switch to wine spritzers to cut the calories in half. You can also drink seltzer, which looks like a “real” drink so no one will question you, if that’s a concern. Finally, try envisioning each drink as a chocolate milkshake. Pictured this way, you may want to reconsider having more than one!
The next strategy involves keeping your hands busy. You can hold your drink in one hand and have a plate of vegetables in the other. For women, you may want to try the “clutch trick,” purposely bringing a clutch bag as opposed to one with a strap. This ties up the hand that could be grabbing unhealthy appetizers. Of course, you may want to enjoy some of those appetizers so if that’s your plan, limit yourself to a few of your favorites and enjoy them thoroughly. Give yourself permission to savor them so that each bite isn’t eaten with a side of guilt.
If the party involves a sit down meal, only eat what’s special for that holiday. For example, let’s say for Christmas dinner there’s a delicious looking stuffing on the table that you want to try along with other types of breads and rolls. Since rolls may be something you have on any regular night out, skip them to allow for a taste of that special stuffing. By having what’s unique for the holiday, you’ll feel a part of it without “stuffing” yourself!
With a plan, you can enjoy the holidays without the “leftovers” you’d find on your belly, hips and thighs as you ring in the New Year.