‘Tis the season for holiday parties. As you and your family find yourselves celebrating with friends and extended family, you’ll be presented with a host of festive, sugary treats at every turn.
While tasting and partaking is part of the joy this time of year, it can be all too easy to overindulge in sugars and processed carbohydrates, which can leave you with lower energy, depleted immunity, and continual carb cravings. By 2017, you may not be too happy with what your scale is telling you.
Here are a few strategies you can use to ensure that the only thing you take home from holiday parties this time of year is a deep appreciation of your blessings.
Eat Before You Go
Fill up on something substantial before you head out. Healthy fats and high-fiber vegetables are great choices because they’ll make you feel full and will slow down the absorption of carbohydrates in your body.
Give Your Children Limits
Rather than allowing a free-for-all attitude at every party, teach your kids about healthy choices, and set limits. For example, you may tell them they can have as many nuts, pieces of cheese, vegetables, and fruit as they wish, and up to two sweets. When it comes to beverages, perhaps allow only water or no more than one juice box.
With such guidelines in place, they’ll still have plenty to enjoy, but also will learn the importance of healthy choices.
Remind Yourself of the Best Options
Review the best options for yourself. Choose the veggie tray over the cookie tray, the cheese platter over the cake platter, the nuts over the potato chips. Visualizing yourself choosing healthier options in advance of the party can be a powerful behavior modifier.
To prevent your own overindulgence, keep mints in your pocket to have in lieu of that second snowman cookie or 12th potato chip. You’ll freshen your breath and break the habit of popping treats into your mouth.
Fill Your Plate with Healthy Options First
Lots of greens, healthy fats, and proteins should go on your plate first. Make sure you eat these items first as well. If there’s room left on your plate, decide which less-healthy options you’d like to add.
Choose the Smallest Plate
When given a choice, pick the smallest plate. You are likely to fill it up just as you would a larger plate, but you will consume less food overall.
Wash the dishes in the sink, clean up after the kids, and refill the snack bowls while you’re at it. If you’re helping, you’re not eating, and your host will be most grateful.
Choose Water Often
Between other drinks, or exclusively, choose to drink water as much as possible. It’s the healthiest choice and will stem the tide of bad food choices later in the evening.
Leave on Time
As the party winds down, don’t delay your exit. You’ve enjoyed the company. Now, give your proper goodbyes and get the entire family home for a good night’s rest. You’ll feel better in the morning after having slept and having broken that late-night habit of eating “just one more cookie.”