‘Tis the season of holiday parties and celebrations. Family get-togethers and friendsgivings parties. Work Christmas parties and neighborhood gatherings. And to someone who is on a fabulous healthy living streak, these parties can be a little stressful. I mean, how are you supposed to resist Aunt Susie’s cheese ball that is just staring at you?? Or those saucy meatballs that your friend makes every year that are so delicious???
When I joined Jenny Craig 4 years ago, the holidays were my biggest fear… I had to get through them. The first year, I avoided them, but I realized in the years that follow that I had to figure out a way to attend the functions in a way that met my healthy living goals.
Having conquered this several years in a row now, I thought it was prime time to put together some of my secrets to share with all of you…
1. Don’t Show Up Starving
I’ll start with the most important of the tips – – Don’t show up hungry!! Have a healthy breakfast and a sensible dinner and if needed, a little snack before you leave the house. I like to enjoy an apple or a pear before I head to a party. It has crunch and a sweetness that steers me clear of temptation. Bottom line: If you show up starving, you’re more likely to overeat. Plan ahead!
2. Insist on Bringing a Dish
If you’re going to someone’s house, you can always bring something additional to add to the party. When you’re picking your contribution, pick something you enjoy eating, something you’ll feel guilt-free eating, and perhaps a healthier version of your usual favorite treat!
Here’s a few ideas from NTTC, including recipe links below.
1. BLT Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes
2. Veggies and Roasted Red Pepper Dip
4. Lightened Up Holiday Chex Mix
6. Spinach-Cheese Appetizer Balls
3. Veggies are your FRIEND
Every party has a veggie tray, and that veggie tray just became your BFF. There are plenty of GUILT-FREE pretties staring right back at you! And, you can pair them with so many other things on the table… the cheese and meat tray, that decadent spinach and artichoke dip that you want just a bite of. Using veggies as the vehicle to taste these other items makes it a little less concerning… and then move quickly to step 4!
4. Find a Food-Free Zone
Step away from the table! Oh so often at a party, we all end up standing right near the food table. Hovering over the food, and staring at all the decadent food. When you’ve filled your plate, move away from the buffet and head to a more comfortable food-free zone. This is a great way to make sure you don’t go back for seconds, or thirds…
5. Pick a Petite Plate
Picking up a tiny cocktail plate has never been a better idea. Going for the smallest possible plate assures that you will take a smaller amount of food. You can only pile a small plate so high, so this assures your portions will be in check.
Before you fill your plate, commit yourself to not going back for a refill. This will make sure that you’re going for the flavors you want most, in the portions you can live with the next day.
6. Go Light on the Libations
Once you’ve had a few cocktails, it’s amazing how your willpower slowly starts to lessen. Don’t let a few drinks ruin your plan!
Plan to have one drink (pick your favorite), and then immediately switch over to water. You can even swipe some fruit from the fruit tray to flavor it up, if you’d like.
7. Remember, it’s Just One Night
You made a plan, and maybe you didn’t stick to it 100%. You had three of those tasty Buckeye candies that your stepmom brought, and you just couldn’t say “no thanks” to the petit fours. It’s okay!!
The key to remember is that you get to start over tomorrow. Every single day, you have the opportunity to get right back on track and I highly encourage you to do that.