Tips to Stay on Track with a Healthy Diet During Holiday Parties
With the holiday season nearly here, it may seem difficult to stay on track with your healthy diet plan and still attend parties and not overindulge on snacks and desserts. However, if you practice self-discipline, you can remain focused on your plan to eat healthy foods and still have fun with family, friends, and colleagues during the holiday season.
Decide on Limits
If you've been eating a healthy diet, it's likely that you have already been limiting your food intake--especially foods high in sugar and saturated fats. Find a balance during the holiday season with eating healthy foods, and sugary foods and other snacks you'll likely find when attending parties. However, decide on limits before you arrive at the party. It's easier to discipline yourself to stop eating desserts or snacks if you've made a decision prior to being in a festive party atmosphere.
Don't Go When Hungry
Sure, if you've been invited to your friend's house for a holiday dinner or are attending a work party, you're going to eat there. However, eat some light, healthy snacks and drink 8 ounces of water before you leave home. This will help you feel full and you won't be staring at a scrumptious looking buffet table or dinner plate on an empty stomach. Some quick healthy snacks include food like unsalted popcorn, kale chips, raw veggies with nonfat Greek yogurt dip, apple slices and peanut butter, and granola and yogurt with fruit.
Go with an Accountability Buddy
Having support while trying to live a healthy lifestyle can help you stick to your wellness goals. Maybe your significant other is attending the party with you. Ask this person to either join you with your healthy snacking tips or at least be your accountability partner to help you stay on track with your goals. Make sure this person--even if it will be someone already at the party and not your significant other attending with you--understands how serious you are about your healthy eating goals even during the holiday season.
Eat Salads First
When you look at the buffet table, focus on filling your plate with salads or vegetables first. Don't go straight to more calorie rich foods like breads, desserts, or meats. When you focus on eating salads and vegetables first, you'll start to fill your stomach with healthier food and be less likely to eat unhealthy foods on the table.
Bring Healthy Snacks Along
Now, don't go overboard here, but bring a few snacks along like a protein bar or trail mix (dried fruits and nuts) to eat and fill up on if there are no healthy options for you at the party. If you are going to a party where there is a potluck theme and guests are bringing a dish to add to the buffet table, make a healthy dish so you know you have something good to eat if there are no other healthy options.
Have Fun and Enjoy Yourself
Make sure that you don't berate yourself too much if you overindulge at one or more of the parties you attend this holiday season. You're likely not going to be perfect in following all of your healthy eating goals at these parties. However, if you mess up at one party, admit it and work more diligently at sticking to the plan at the next party you attend. In the end, take the time to focus on family, friends, and colleagues--and have fun. You don't want to focus so much on your healthy eating plan that you neglect enjoying quality time with people this holiday season. Always find the right balance that works for you.