We made it through Thanksgiving! Now, it’s time to focus on what’s to come. Between office parties, social outings, and family gatherings, the six-week stretch from Thanksgiving to New Years can seem like an outright sabotage to our healthy-eating efforts. Though one indulgent holiday party won’t be your dietary undoing, lots of festivities over the course of six weeks definitely adds up. Here a few simple ways to keep your intake in check without feeling deprived.
1. Don’t show up hungry. Eat something small before you go so you don’t feel compelled to inhale the first passed appetizers you see. Also, champagne on an empty stomach will go to your head that much more quickly. A few smart pre-party noshes include:
· Sliced veggies & hummus
· A cup of broth-based vegetable soup
· Half a turkey or PB & J sandwich on whole wheat bread
· 6 oz plain Greek yogurt with cinnamon and ground flax
· An apple with 1 tbsp peanut butter
· A handful of almonds
2. Prioritize protein. Sliced roast beef, shrimp skewers, and smoked salmon are all good sources. Want to up the satiety factor even more? Reach for some raw veggies from the crudité platter. The combo of fiber and protein will fill you up and keep you focused.
3. Work the room. Rather than parking yourself in front of the snack table, meander around and enjoy conversations with the other attendees. Flying solo and need an ice-breaker? Compliment someone’s shoes/tie/Santa hat—way more fun than talking about the weather.
4. Alternate booze with water. You’re probably sick of hearing this one, but it’s one of the best ways to avoid a hangover. You’ll also be way less likely to end up leading the conga line at the office party. For every alcoholic drink, sip a glass of water or club soda.
5. Give yourself permission to stick to your good habits. Just because the people you’re with are loading up on foods you’re trying to limit and/or pounding cocktails doesn’t mean you have to follow suit. By the same token, don’t feel compelled to get sucked into a food-guilt fest if you dip into the chocolate fountain with your friends. Own your choices and feel good about doing what works for YOU.
Written by Jessica Cording, MS, RDN, CDN. Jessica is a Rise Coach and Registered Dietitian who lives in New York City. In addition to nutrition counseling, Jessica writes for various food/health publications and works with restaurants on menu development. Want to work with Jessica or another Rise coach like her? Get started at http://www.rise.us/r/JESSICACORDING