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Delicious food is a natural part of holiday festivities. When you make the choice to live a healthy lifestyle, holiday parties can be full of temptation to overindulge in all the wrong things. Have a plan of action prior to attending holiday gatherings to help you maintain your healthy eating commitments. Follow these tips to stay healthy and happy.

1. Don’t bring a big appetite

Never attend a party on an empty stomach. Instead, enjoy a healthy high protein meal or last-minute snack before leaving home. This will help you maintain moderation when adding food items to your plate at the party.

2. Avoid drinking liquid calories

The sugar and fat calories often overlooked at holiday parties are the ones served in a glass or mug. Choose apple cider over eggnog. Limit alcohol intake. And, of course, make water your preferred option.

3. Contribute healthy choices to the mix

If you contribute to the party goodies, make yours a healthy option. It assures that you have at least one healthy choice at the gathering. There will always be others at the party who will be thankful for your healthy addition to the table.

4. Keep your mouth busy with chatter

It is always easier to avoid putting food in our mouth when it is otherwise occupied. Keep yourself engaged in conversation. After all, parties are about spending time with people, right? Don’t let food get in the way.

5. Don’t be quick to empty your plate

Learning to slow down your eating habits can make a big difference in how much you eat during a party. Try to avoid standing with your plate in hand. Have a place to set it down between bites of food and participation in the party.

6. Choose fruit over sweets

Avoid decadent desserts, homemade fudge, and other candies overloaded with sugar and fat. You can still satisfy your sweet cravings by choosing fruit options like chocolate-dipped strawberries or apple slices with caramel dip.

7. Limit yourself to one plate

Your host will encourage you to refill your plate or bring around goodies to replenish the plates of his or her guests. Don’t allow yourself a second round when the first one was plenty. Once your plate is empty, put it in its proper place and politely decline your host’s pleas to take more.

8. Say no to leftovers

Seldom does a holiday party end with all the food eaten. Generous hosts, especially if they are family, will beg guests to take some of the leftovers home. If the leftovers available don’t fit with your goals for a healthy lifestyle, gracefully decline. Better to go “to waste” than to go to your waist.

9. Increase physical activities during holiday seasons

Balancing consumption with calorie burning activity is the key to maintaining a healthy weight. When you know you have or will be increasing your intake of calorie-rich food, increase your physical activity during that time, too – walk more, extend your workouts by a few minutes, or add in an extra session per week.

10. Be selective in your choices

Each thing you put on your plate involves a decision, a choice. Think about each one. You don’t have to try everything available. The choices you do make can be in moderate portions. Don’t deprive yourself at the holiday tables, but maintain control.

If you would like more information about staying healthy during the holiday season, schedule a free consultation with one of our 360 Medical Weight Specialists. Call us at 925-944-5678 to make an appointment or sign up for one of our Free Info Sessions.

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