Healthy for the Holidays: 4 Tips to Surviving a Holiday Party

It’s that time of year again—party, party, party. Whether it is at the office, or with friends and family, it seems impossible to make it through the season without your healthy eating habits going off the rails. These four tips can help you enjoy the holiday season and keep your diet on track.

  1. Don’t go on an empty stomach. Going to a party on an empty stomach is like grocery shopping on an empty stomach—you pick up things you don’t need. To avoid consuming too many calories eat a healthy snack before you leave home. Betsy Oriolo, MS, RD, LD, CDE at St. Elizabeth Physicians Weight Management Center recommends eating a salad with sugar-free and fat-free dressing, whole wheat bread with peanut butter and fresh fruit or vegetables before the party.
  2. Focus on fun, not food. Once you’re at the party, since you’re not hungry, focus on socializing and enjoying yourself. While chatting, get yourself a glass of water or club soda with lemon wedges, to hold something in your hand.
  3. Mindfully indulge. Do not put anything in your mouth, before you put it on your plate. Being aware of the amount of food you eat is important. Go for fresh desserts like strawberries dipped in dark chocolate. Take a generous helping of the salad and dip your fork in the dressing instead of pouring onto your salad. Take small bites and chew your food slowly—savor the taste. Most importantly, remember the fourth bite will taste the same as the first bite.
  4. Pour wisely. When measured correctly, one serving of alcohol has approximately 100 calories. Make sure the bartender is pouring wisely or pour your own drink if possible. Remember that replacing your alcoholic beverage with fruit juice will not help with reducing the calories consumed as fruit juice is high in calories too. Drinking 3-4 glasses of water for every drink will also help you stay hydrated and full.
    If you find yourself off track, Oriolo says, “It is important to remember it isn’t all or nothing. Healthy eating is a daily decision and one mistake doesn’t mean you stop trying. You can prove you can do it at the next holiday party.”

If you need help keeping your weight goals on track, talk to your primary care physician or schedule an appointment at the St. Elizabeth Physicians Weight Management Center by calling (859) 212-4625.