December is here, and that brings holiday party time. School, work, friends, family, church, associations and clubs all celebrate with a gathering. All of this festive fun is great to show off your holiday outfits and share joy. So now I'll share a few holiday party survival tips so that you still fit into those holiday clothes at the last party you attend as well as you did for the first.
Plan your attack
As with so many things, a bit of planning goes a long way. If you have been to the event before, you may know which caloric treats to anticipate. Make a list of the best of the best. If work has the best entrees, Mom the best cookies, and your book club the best egg nog, schedule those in. Yes, I’m suggesting you actually write in egg nog or best cookies ever on your calendar. Then fill in your munching at that event with low calorie stuff like a diet Sprite and some veggies. But you won’t feel sad because you had your favorite treat.
Don’t starve before you party
Surviving the buffet is not too hard if you have a plan. Don't starve yourself the day of the party. You'll overindulge. You can eat lower calorie meals that day, but do eat. Scout the buffet line before choosing anything. Then grab the smallest plate you can find. Choose a reasonable portion of your top five favorites. That means one cookie, one scoop of those awesome sweet potatoes, etc.
As with the smaller plate, opt for smaller portions of favorites. If you’re hosting the party, consider serving bite-size portions of cakes and pies or tiny cups filled with nuts or chocolates. These can be things we tend to overindulge in when note portioned out for us! Offer up smaller cups for egg nog and – for soda lovers, the Coca-Cola Minis are a great option with less than 100 calories.
Try to incorporate activity into the festivities. Going caroling is a great walk through the neighborhood. If we get snow, build a snow-family. If your subdivision has sidewalks, walk at night to go see the Christmas lights. Helping clean up burns calories and you host will love you.
Wishing you all happy and healthy holidays!
Carol Meerschaert is a registered dietitian in Paoli, PA with over 25 years of nutrition counseling experience. Carol has written over 100 magazine articles on nutrition topics and has trained health professionals in 22 states. Carol has appeared in numerous TV appearances including on CNN and Ivanhoe Broadcast News. Carol is a consultant for food and beverage companies including the Coca-Cola Company.