Oh, all the parties…
And you’ve been feeling really invigorated and energized by your food and beverage choices of late and now the holiday’s are coming.
And all those cookies never end up making you feel that good. Sure they tasted amazing in the moment, but then you feel sluggish, drained, gassy or all of the above.
Avoiding the holiday food goodness doesn’t have to be an all-out resistance. That would be unrealistic because it relies too much on willpower (which could be running low at any given time). This approach could be potentially harmful as well because if you did ‘cheat’ and have some yummy goodness, then you might feel like you let yourself down and that can be a downward spiral of feeling crummy about yourself. Nobody needs that. So, instead of saying ‘NO!” to all the yummy treats this holiday season, here are some hacks you can try.
Drink a Glass of Water
Most of us live in a perpetual state of slight dehydration, so not only will this help your brain function a little better–less brain fog–but you’ll also feel a little full. Many times when we feel hungry, we are actually thirsty. Having that glass of water will fill up your stomach for a bit and will give you a few moments to access if the holiday yumminess is really what you were needing.
Grab a Smaller Plate
You’re at a party and there are so many good items to chose from. If you can, grab a smaller plate so that you are limited in terms of the amount of space you have for carrying food. This may have you rethink whether you need (or want, for that matter) some of everything.
This trick can be used when you are sitting down for a main meal, too. Grab a smaller ‘side’ plate. We all want to try everything right? (more on that later) But it never feels good when we ate two servings of the main course and now it’s time for dessert. Then you try a few desserts too many and now you’re looking for the Tums–never a good feeling.
Eat Something Healthy Before You Go to the Party
I know this sounds ridiculous, but if you know that there will only be a bunch of unhealthy items to chose from and you really want to make sure not to overindulge and make sure your are fueling your body fabulously, eat a healthy meal before you go. Then, when you are at the party you can maybe enjoy a holiday drink or your neighbor’s famous pecan pie and have a good nutritious meal to keep you satisfied.
Bring a Dish to Contribute that is Healthy
If you know that most of the food/drink options at this party will not be in keeping with your nutritional standards, then bring something that you really enjoy and fill your plate with a healthy serving of your own food.
If you feel your downfall is having one too many alcoholic or sugar-filled drinks, 1) make sure you are not the person driving, but 2) if fancy drinks are your thing, do a search for healthy, low-calorie or low-sugar ideas and bring a pitcher of some of it to share with other party goers. Lastly I would say, regardless of driving or not, know that liquid calories still can add up. Make a plan to have one or two holiday drinks, even if they’re your healthier version, and then stick to the plan.
Eat Only the Foods You Really Love
Choose the foods that truly excite you about the holiday you’re celebrating. The food that makes your tastes buds dance, and then leave all the other foods behind. You’ll be less likely to end up with an over abundance on your plate. We’ll see [store bought] chocolate chip cookies anywhere, but that specific main meal item that only graces the table at this time of year, enjoy that.
All of these ideas come from a main theme around planning. We all want to enjoy the holiday food awesomeness, we just don’t want to stuff our faces with pie and then feel the bloat and ick feelings later. Keeping some of these tips on hand for when the sweet and rich foods/drinks roll in will help you stay on top of your nutrition plan and your nutrition goals.