Party Survival Tips
We all love parties – the friends, the fun, the FOOD. But how can you survive the holiday party season without packing on the extra pounds? By following these tips, you can handle the party without neglecting to care for yourself.
Plan for your party calories and carbohydrates by eating sensible, well-balanced meals and snacks before you go to the party (think about balancing your plate. See choosemyplate.gov or page 40 about meal planning using the plate method). Eating a small snack like a piece of fruit and low-fat yogurt or peanut butter and whole grain crackers is a smart idea! That way you arrive able to focus on the hosts and other guests rather than the food.
Include exercise before you go
Not only will the extra calories you burned before the party help offset any party indulgences, but you will also arrive at the party relaxed and ready to have a great time!
Mingle away from the food
If you find yourself standing by the buffet for most of the evening, you may find yourself consuming more food. Use a small plate or napkin and take small bites of a few favorite foods. Enjoy the food you choose and have a conversation or two before going back to the buffet. Make a conscious decision by asking yourself: Do I really want more or am I continuing to eat because it is there and everyone else is eating?
If you have to have it, HALVE it!
When faced with an assortment of yummy dips, gooey sweets, or irresistible fried treats, think, “Halve it and you can have it.” Just take half a piece. This strategy works anytime, anywhere, and will keep you from feeling deprived while halving the calories and carbohydrates you would normally eat.
Avoid drinking calories
Think before you drink. Decide if you want to include liquid calories in your party plan. Have what you planned for and then opt for club soda or sparkling water mixed with fruit juice. Better yet, add a slice of lemon or lime to a refreshing glass of pure water!
- Egg Nog (1 cup): 343 calories, 34.4 grams carbohydrate
- Wine (6 oz glass): 150 calories, 4.6 grams carbohydrate
- Beer, regular (12 oz.): 150 calories, 12 grams carbohydrate
- Cider (12 oz.): 190 calories, 21 grams carbohydrate
- Fruit punch (12 oz.): 204 calories, 48 grams carbohydrate
- Piña colada (8 oz.): 618 calories, 72 grams carbohydrate
- Margarita (6 oz.): 425 calories, 37 grams carbohydrate
- No matter what, stay positive!
Even if you did overdo it at the party, keep things in perspective. You do not need to be “perfect” all the time, and one event does not make you an unhealthy person or “undo” your healthy lifestyle plan. Just remember the 80/20 rule – 80% of the time healthy choices and other choices 20% of the time – chalk the party up to a big “20”, and then get back to your healthy lifestyle!