Whew! We made it through Thanksgiving. How did you do? I hope you enjoyed the seasonal treats (in moderation) and skipped the high calorie foods that weren’t special enough for you to eat. Keep up the good work as we continue the holiday marathon.
Enjoying Holiday Parties (Without the Guilt)
The next challenge for many of us is a holiday party. Whether it’s for work or hosted by a neighbor, the challenge is the same: how to fully enjoy the party without feeling deprived of yummy food.
Use the same strategy I recommended for Thanksgiving: decide which party foods you really want to eat, and which ones are not worth the calories. And be true to yourself. It’s a common recommendation for party-goers to skip high fat appetizers like crab cakes; but if it’s something you really really (really) want, then plan for the 300 calories you’ll get in each one and structure the rest of your eating accordingly.
Make sure you eat a healthy snack beforehand so that you’re not starving when they bring out the food. Good choices include yogurt and fruit or an apple with peanut butter. Something with a little protein will help keep you satisfied and you won’t be tempted to eat your way through the buffet.
It’s not a cocktail party without the cocktails. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. Have plenty of water so that you’re not drinking that glass of wine to quench your thirst. My favorite drink is a glass of champagne or Italian prosecco; the bubbles make it feel special. Here are some other great choices to enjoy:
- Sparkling water with a splash of cranberry juice and a slice of lime
- Vodka or gin & diet tonic
- Small glass of wine
- Bloody Mary
Don’t forget the nibbles! Be mindful of what you’re eating, because bites here and there can really add up. Some good choices include:
- Shrimp cocktail
- Raw veggies & hummus or salsa
- Melon with prosciutto
- Grilled chicken satay
- Olives (watch portions as olives are high in healthy fat)
- Tuna tartare or seared tuna
Navigating The Office Temptations
If you haven’t noticed them already, you will soon. I’m talking about tempting treats brought in by well-meaning coworkers. Maybe it’s homemade cookies or bowls of colorfully-wrapped chocolates. Whatever they are, you can be sure they’re high in calories and low in nutrition (have you ever noticed that no one brings in bags of baby carrots?) Here’s how to deal with them:
- Pay attention
Don’t mindlessly munch on candy while talking to a co-worker. Pay attention to what you’re eating so you can enjoy it fully and need less to do so.
- Cookies are not lunch
Don’t use a busy schedule as an excuse to have cookies for lunch. Plan & prepare for an especially busy day so that you have something healthy on-hand. Cookies can then take their rightful place at dessert.
- Know what you’re eating
Those little foil kisses can’t have too many calories, right? True, each one has about 25 calories. But who ever eats just one? How many can you eat in a day? A week? Adding extra sweet calories without increasing your exercise will add to your waistline. (Those peanut butter cookies with the chocolate kisses in them have at least 100 calories a pop).