The holidays are rapidly approaching and you know what what means: lots of temptations! This is the time of the year when there are even more tempting choices out on counter tops at holiday parties; no longer are you just noshing on chips and salsa–this time of year you’ve got an assortment of cookies, dips, breads, cakes, and chips and salsa to choose from. Making the right choice at every party you go to can sometimes be hard… very hard.
Last year at Thanksgiving I did a wonderful job of watching what I ate. I had been doing Crossfit for the last three months and I was really good at keeping my snacking to a minimum as well as saying no to things I didn’t really need. Shoot, Matt and I even started off Thanksgiving morning with a solid hour long work out at our gym. Can’t get much better than that!
Fast forward to this year and we are both in a slightly less active state and while we are trying to change that, we realize the holidays are going to be a bit harder this year.
With that said, here are some tips to avoiding the bad junk at parties that seemed to have worked for me in the past.
- Never go to a party starving. Heck, ideally you’re not even going to the party hungry. If you are hungry or starving, you’re going to snack and scarf down treats until you feel awful, that’s pretty much a given. Try going to a party after you’ve eaten a light meal at your house (light so you don’t feel overly full and bloated, but filling enough to curb your hunger) or if you’re on the go, take a snack bar (Clif Kids Z Bar, for example) and a piece of fruit to eat before you arrive. No one wants to be the person who can’t stop thinking about the food on the table behind them. But if you show up full, and enjoy a drink or two while conversing with others at the party, you may find yourself having a better time and not worrying about food.
- Moderation. Full or not, sometimes you just can’t say no to those chocolate covered pretzels, cake balls, or otherwise. In this case, use your favorite tool moderation. Have just one and be done. One can give you the satisfaction of the taste you are craving without overloading you on calories. And if you’re tempted to grab more, walk away from where they are at. Sit down at a place that is foodless until you get past your craving.
- Splurge Smart. If you’re going to splurge, make it the smartest you possibly can. Instead of tasting the cookie dough as you’re making cookies (oh we all do that) and then saying “well I already ate a ton of cookie dough so I might as well splurge the rest of the day” you should do this: allow yourself one splurge item for the day if you are going to splurge. Throwing away a whole day on splurging can start a “I ate that so I might as well eat this” thing and cause you to fall off track very quickly. If you know you are going to be around tempting items all day, and you want to splurge, tell yourself you will splurge on one item and then be done.
- Stay hydrated. This is always a must but on the days where you know there’s going to be a huge potluck at work? Drink a lot of water. Have you ever noticed that they days you drink your recommended 8 glasses of water that you feel better–more energizing and have less cravings? Water can work with you on your diet by helping you feel fuller. Don’t get me wrong, water isn’t a full on diet-aiding appetite suppressant but it can help to drink awter so you don’t feel famished and scarf down 3 dinner rolls before you even get to the tri-tip
- Eat slow. What does this really do? Well, I find when I am at a table full of family and friends, surrounded by food, I want to put more on my plate because everyone else is, and they’re saying how good everything tastes. But if you eat more slowly than usual, you are able to stop and ask yourself: “Ok. Am I actually still hungry or does this just sound good?” Often times when you eat quickly, you don’t even allow yourself a chance to process what you’ve eaten. Binge eating is born this way and we’ve all fell victim to it, especially around the holidays. Make time to stop and ask yourself if you’re still hungry and if you aren’t, take your plate away.
I know that you guys must have some great tips to watching what you eat during the holidays so please share them with me. I have just found that those 5 things are the easiest changes to make without having to be the weird girl at the party always busting out her points wheel and saying “I can’t have that” Living healthy is not just about making the right choices in what you eat but it’s also about being able to adapt to any situation with food and make the right choice, without making yourself the permanent dieting girl.
Hope these tips help some of you.. although I bet you guys have some tips that I could benefit from, too! Please share!
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