The holidays can be a TOUGH time for those of us who try to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It seems like every time you turn around its time to go to another dinner, brunch, or office party. It can be easy to overindulge at these events if you go unprepared or without a plan. As the saying goes, “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” Chances are, you know about these events for weeks before the time comes. That means there’s plenty of time to work around it. It IS possible to keep your weight in check while still enjoying yourself at holiday parties – the key is to do it mindfully!
Here are 5 ways to stay on track at this year’s holiday office party:
- Eat before you go. If your event is in the evening, eat a healthy, filling, early dinner. Eating before you go ensures that you have full control over what you’re eating – you’re not limited to the (most likely) unhealthy choices at the party. Not only that, but you’ll eliminate the risk of binge eating that usually comes along with these events when you go with an empty stomach. You can certainly still partake in some treats – just be mindful and watch your portions! You’ll be more likely to make better choices anyway, since you’ve already eaten dinner.
- If you can’t eat before, or if the event is at breakfast or lunchtime, just be wary of your portions. Office parties are typically full of chips, dips, and finger foods, but they also usually have a variety of fruits and veggies as well. Try to fill up on the healthier options, like veggies and proteins. Using a smaller plate can also help you not overeat. Only eat what you can fit on the appetizer plates! If you’re still hungry after, make a trip back to the veggie tray, or stop by the ever-present bowl of nuts.
- One of our biggest tools for weight loss is exercise, so make sure you don’t forget about it during the holidays! Exercise is especially important on days that you know you’ll be eating out of the norm foods like you would be eating at a holiday party. Exercising the morning of the party will help you stay on track when it comes to your food choices – who wants to spend an hour working out, only to sabotage it with a binge on finger foods? But, exercise is also good because even if you do snack on a few high calorie foods, the effect won’t be as bad because you’ve already burned some calories that morning. Try to workout first thing in the morning so you aren’t tempted to skip it later!
- Another great way to keep yourself on track at your holiday office party is to bring a dish of your own. Bringing something healthy that you love (and is tasty!) is a win for everyone. You get to enjoy something that not only tastes good, but is also good for you, AND you get brownie points for bringing a delicious dish while contributing to the health of your officemates.
- Watch the booze! It’s inevitable that there will be alcohol at holiday functions, especially if they’re in the evening, and it can be easy to get carried away. If you’re going to drink, stick to the basics and avoid heavy, sugary drinks that the bar may have. Instead, stick to light beers, wine, and basic cocktails like vodka and sugar free juices, whiskey/rum and diet coke, or dry martinis. You can definitely enjoy yourself at the party – just be smart about it for the sake of your holiday outfits. Eating great and working out won’t help you at all if you down 2 or 3 egg noggs and spiked ciders after dinner!
The holidays are a great time to have fun with coworkers and celebrate with friends and family. You don’t have to skip the parties to stay on track with your weight. Just be conscious of what you are filling your body with, have a plan, and enjoy everything in moderation. Don’t forget to check out these five tips again before your next office party!