‘Tis the season for holiday parties, gingerbread men, and cocktails. It may be fun to celebrate the past year of successes with a night of splurging but don’t compromise the hard work you’ve put into your body all year. Here are some tips for staying lean this holiday season and avoiding the holiday party blubber.
1. Eat Dinner. Most holiday parties are in the evenings so folks starve themselves and “save” their calories. But that will slow your metabolism and you’ll be more likely to over eat at the party. Be fashionably late by grabbing a healthy dinner beforehand. You’ll have less room for the junk if you load up on lean protein and veggies. Tell your host/ess you’ll be late and that you will have already eaten dinner. Telling someone will also hold you accountable from stuffing yourself. Also, arriving late also ensures that everyone will have sampled all the dishes. By the time you get there they’ll be sure to tell you what you absolutely “must” try.
2. Bring something you’ll snack on. Chances are there will be a crudités platter at the party but bring something else that’s healthy that you would want to eat and that others would too. Show others that eating clean and healthy is not boring by bringing fruit dipped in dark chocolate or homemade hummus. My friend Bri makes an amazing fruit drizzle.
3. Pick 2. Allow yourself two treats for the night. Something sweet and something savory. Maybe it’s a drink and a dessert? Or an appetizer and dessert? Or just two desserts. Select the two most delectable things you absolutely must try. Skip the items you “could” eat any other day and indulge in seasonal or “special” foods.
4. Size matters. Use the small, cocktail plate and not the dinner plate. It will trick your brain into think you’ve eaten more than you think.
5. Clear liquids. Stick with seltzer, vodka, or champagne as they have the fewest calories. Nothing is more celebratory than a bubbly drink.
6. Limit alcohol. Stick with the “two” rule. Have two drinks max. The more alcohol you intake the more likely your inhibition drops and you’ll cave into poor choices. Tell yourself you must drink a glass of water or seltzer after every non-water drink. Not only will you curb any cravings but you’ll be hydrated and less bloated than others the next day. Lastly, there’s nothing wrong with not drinking. Pour yourself a seltzer with a lime slice and no one will know the difference.
7. Meet everyone. Meeting new people and talking to everyone will keep you preoccupied and less likely to nibble. Make a point to leave the party having made two new connections, or learned something new about old friends.
8. Plan something for early the next day. Schedule a session with your trainer or run a race the day after the party. You’ll be less likely to overindulge or stay later than necessary and be tempted by junk food if you know you have to get up early the next morning.
9. Wear a form fitting dress. You’ll not only look great but You’ll be more aware of your body and less likely to indulge if you’re wearing a form fitting dress. Boyfriend jeans and a t-shirt will make you feel relaxed and give room for your belly to expand. Besides, you should be dressed up for the party anyway.
10. Remember that you have fitness goals. While it’s great to celebrate the season with a drink or yummy goody, remember that you don’t want to set yourself back and start 2013 with the weight you had originally lost in 2012. If you haven’t lost any weight this year, remind yourself of your goals in 2013. If health or weight loss is one of them, start now rather than waiting for January 1. We are not promised tomorrow so start living the life you want today!
Share your tips. What are some tricks that have worked for you?
photo credit: Hotels Unlimited Banquets