Eat, drink, and be merry are the basic rules of any celebration. The Holiday season is perhaps the most festive time of the year! Parties seem to take place every weekend, if not during the week as well.
Parties are fun, but they can be costly when it comes to our diet and exercise routines. Every gathering has an abundance of appetizers, desserts and tasty beverages. It can be very challenging to keep from overindulging.
The way I see it, there are two options: a) Forget about the hard work you have done exercising and watching what you eat. After all, Christmas is once a year and you will definitely start exercising more, and maybe even do a cleanse, on January 1st, or b) Continue practicing your good habits and still have a fabulous time at the party. Decisions, decisions…
I tend to remember the pain of running uphill, downhill, on flat surfaces, in the dark, light, and in hot or cold weather. I really don’t want all of that to go out the window with one party, especially since there are more parties to attend. But, I definitely want to have fun and enjoy the treats. So, I guess I choose the second option, at least that is my intention. When I arrive at the party, I am usually tempted to change my mind.
If you find yourself in a similar scenario, best intentions going bad, follow these tips to help you eat and drink at the party and be merry the next day too!
When you enter the party, after greeting your host or hostess, you will most likely find yourself near the food and beverages. Give the table of deliciousness a once over. Make note of the foods you would like to try and also ones that you may be able to skip. Try to balance your plate with low calorie, healthy choices, such as vegetables, with the more decadent foods. Next, think small. Start your evening with a small plate to hold small portions. Take your time enjoying these foods while mingling with friends and allow 20 minutes to pass before helping yourself to seconds.
If you are enjoying alcoholic beverages at the festivity, have a glass of water after every cocktail. You will feel so much better the next morning and your body will thank you for the hydration! Even if your drinks can be consumed by a minor, drinking water in between those drinks is a good idea too. Beverages, with or without alcohol, often contain plenty of sugar and calories. Consuming too many sweet and non-alcoholic beverages can leave you feeling not so jolly the next day.
Finally, have fun!! Dance, laugh, sing!! All of those are great calorie burners – maybe the best workout EVER!! (But I will have to check with Trisha to verify that one…)
Stay tuned, stay healthy, and stay Pretty in the Peak!
Marianne Lindgren, MS, RD