Strategies for attending Holiday parties on a diet

 

I’ll be attending the first holiday gathering of the season tonight and thought I would share my strategies of how to stick to a mostly plant-based diet when faced with high-fat holiday temptations.  Here are the strategies I found work for me (and are research supported)…

 

1.  Before you arrive at the event, eat an entire apple, sliced, with a bit of peanut butter spread on each slice.  If you are sticking to a low-fat plan for weight loss then use a product called “Just Great Stuff” powered peanut butter.  It is 85% less fat but tastes great.  Why the peanut butter with the apple?  The fiber in the apple will help to fill your tummy and the protein in the peanut butter will energize your brain so that you can think more clearly (I’m serious!)  The PB is also salty sweet and I find that if I get a taste of that before I go to a party I eat less dessert.  See if it works for you!

 

2.  Drink less alcohol.  The more you drink, the more you eat.  The average beer has 150 calories per 12 oz. and a 5 oz glass of red wine has 125 calories.  I’d choose the beer because not only does it fill you up faster, but it has half the calories of wine ounce per ounce.  If you can find a light beer you’ll only consume 65 to 90 calories per bottle.  The neat thing about beer cans and bottles is that it isn’t easy to tell how much liquid is in there.  So you can walk around at a party with the same beer bottle for hours and very seldom will you get offered a refill.  It’s different with a glass of wine… as soon as someone sees that your glass is low they will fill it up quicker than you can say “no thanks.”

 

3.  Go for the fruits and vegetables first.  Leafy green salads, grapes, carrot and celery sticks, fruit salad, etc.  Eat this stuff first, if it’s available, to help fill your tummy so that you have less room for the more calorie dense foods.

 

4.  Stay away from cheese and fatty meats.  So this means no pieces of hard or soft cheese, spreads, or creamy dips and no sausage, mini hot dogs, or anything wrapped in bacon.  Absolutely no egg nog!

 

5.  Choose one dessert.  They all look good?!  Tough it out.  Just pick one and enjoy every bite of it slowly.  Try to stay away from the cheesecake!

 

6.  Spend more time talking and less time eating.  Enjoy the chance to socialize and spread holiday cheer.  My favorite gatherings are those where most people are standing around talking rather than sitting at tables. 

 

7.  Don’t stress.  The more stressed we are, the more we eat.  Go to the holiday event to enjoy yourself and the people you are with.  Clear your mind while you are there and just enjoy being present with friends, family, and co-workers.

 

If you have any tips that work for you, please share them!  Happy Holidays!

~ Michelle