B.E. Healthy: Navigating Holiday Parties…the Healthy Way

With December, comes parties. Lots of parties! And while they are oh-so-much-fun, they can often be a challenge when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. This month, I am sharing a few tips to stay at least somewhat healthy during this holiday-party-season.

  1. If it’s a potluck type gathering, bring a healthy dish! This way you know there will be at least one thing healthy for you to eat. Consider hummus and carrots, fresh fruit, or guacamole and cucumber slices.
  2. Do not arrive starving. Doing so means you are much more likely to eat everything in sight. Especially if it’s an event that is hors d’oeuvres only and not a dinner. Eat a healthy snack (or even a meal) beforehand, depending on the type of event.
  3. Stay hydrated! Before, during and after the party. If you did end up overindulging, it’s even more important to drink a ton of water at the end of the night as well as first thing the next morning.
  4. Choose your beverages wisely. If drinking alcohol, consider wine or a light beer versus a sugary mixed drink or a heavier craft beer. I personally prefer red wine (especially this time of year) because I tend to sip on it slower than a white or sparkling wine. If you aren’t partaking in alcoholic beverages, consider sticking to water or something like a flavored carbonated water versus soda or sweet tea.
  5. Get in a good sweat session! Do this the day of or the following morning, but do not misunderstand—this sweat session isn’t so that you can “earn” the food you’ll eat that night nor is it to “make up” for all the food you may have eaten the night before. It’s simply a good way to keep your body moving and get those endorphins we all love!
  6. Choose foods higher in protein and avoid the starchy foods. Aim to fill your plate with protein, veggies or fruit (if available) and skip the bread.
  7. Indulge… a little! Have a couple of bites of your favorite not-so-healthy dish. By avoiding it all night, you may feel the need to overindulge later (this overindulging could take place that night or even a few days after!).
  8. Step away from the food table. Make it a point to move yourself and your conversations to a different area than right beside the food and drinks. It’s so much easier to mindlessly eat (and drink) when it’s within easy grabbing distance.

And the most important tip of all, if you “mess up…” don’t beat yourself up about it! I’m sure you’ll have plenty of holiday party opportunities and you can aim to do better at the next one. Enjoy your holiday parties!