“Tis the season for lots of get togethers with friends and family.  That also means lots of unhealthy food and drink options every time we turn around!  It’s okay to still go out and have a nice time, but if you have goals, you need to be careful to stay on track.  Here are some tips to help before you head out to a holiday gathering.

1. Eat before the party

I know many people who actually do the opposite—they deprive themselves all day and “save up” so they can indulge later.  But this is not the healthiest strategy!  Eat a healthy meal before you go to an event so you can control yourself during the party.  Otherwise you will end up binging.

2. Bring a healthy dish

If you know you’re going somewhere with unhealthy choices and the host has asked you to bring a dish, bring something you know you can enjoy without feeling guilty.  I like to bring a veggie tray or a fruit platter for an appetizer or make a healthy veggie side dish if it’s a dinner.

3. Say No to Leftovers

I know, I know, leftovers are sometimes the BEST part of a big holiday meal!  But go in to the meal knowing you will enjoy it and that will be it.  Don’t bring home leftovers of the casseroles and sweets, because eating that food for days and days won’t bring you closer to your goals.

4. Fill up a Smaller Plate

They say we eat with our eyes first.  By using a smaller plate and filling it up with food, we’re tricking ourselves into thinking we’re eating more than we really are.  If you must follow the “clean plate rule”, ALWAYS stick with a smaller plate.

5. Slow down and chew

We are often eating and socializing at holiday parties, which can lead to mindless eating.  Taking the time to slow down and chew your food will help you enjoy it and you’ll feel more satisfied.

6. Sip water before you eat

Drinking water before you eat will help keep your stomach full so you aren’t tempted to keep eating-simple as that!

7. Drink responsibly

Yes, there are lots of fun, festive drinks to consume.  But alcohol is full of sugar, as well as whatever else is added to drinks such as soda and juices.  So find a drink to sip, enjoy it, and make sure to drink lots of water to flush it all out of your system.

8. Take a break before grabbing seconds

If you think you’re still hungry and want to grab seconds as soon as you’re finished eating-DON’T.  Set down your plate and silverware, have a conversation, walk around the room, basically take a break and allow your food to settle.

9. Follow the “three bite rule”

If there is a super yummy treat that you just HAVE to eat, don’t deprive yourself…but don’t go eat an entire tray of Christmas cookies or half the platter of appetizers.  By having 3 bites of the things you love, you are getting to enjoy yourself without feeling guilty about what you’re consuming.

 

10. Think ahead

If you’re at a holiday gathering and you’re finding it hard to follow ANY of these suggestions, just take a minute to think about how you will feel later on in the evening or in the morning.  Will you feel guilty?  Will you have an upset stomach?  Will you have a headache?  Knowing that a few moments of tasty food will lead to uncomfortable feelings later may be just want you need and you’ll feel proud of your choices!

I hope you have found these tips helpful!  Comment below if you have used any of these tips or plan on using them in the future.