Holiday parties can be a booger. You have your decadent food, buffets, festive cocktails, wait staff walking around with trays and trays of the cutest little appetizers. Ugh. No wonder so many people gain weight around the holidays! However, you do NOT have to be one of them!
Here are some tips to help you get through the holidays without blaming the innocent dryer for your jeans being a little too tight.
1) Eat Up, Buttercup
Back in the day, I could do some damage to a buffet.
It seemed as though I’d lose total control at the mere sight of an all you can eat smorgasbord.
Until I could get a better grip on my relationship with food, I figured out that staying far, far away from the buffet worked best for me. I know, I know, that sounds harsh, but before you close out this window, hear me out…
Eat a hearty meal before you go and simply skip the buffet altogether. Now, when I say hearty, I don’t mean a cup of low-fat soup with a side salad. Filling up on a substantial, satisfying meal consisting of protein, healthy fats and carbs won’t leave you hungry an hour later and on a mad hunt for food!
But wait, there’s more.
Have a single portion of a decadent dessert waiting for you when you get home from the party. Yes please! Knowing there’s a small slice of heaven to indulge in once you get home helps to keep you from feeling as though you’re missing out on something while at the holiday party.
Keep in mind that “single serving” treats bought at bakeries, restaurants, etc., tend to be anything but one true serving. In other words, if the dessert is store-bought, take out your small serving and then get rid of whatever is leftover on the double. Whether you give the rest of the dessert to your neighbor or totally ruin it by smothering it with salt, just make sure to do it right away so you don’t have any opportunity to polish that bad boy off later on.
Ok, but why steer clear of the buffet? First of all, the food never, ever tastes half as good as it looks. The grub may look like little edible works of art, but more often than not, they’re “meh” at best. Secondly, if you’re anything like me, one small plate turns into 3 or 4 which turns into the ole, “I’ve already wrecked my good eating for the day, so I might as well go all out tonight and start back up tomorrow” mentality.
2) I Ate Wha Whaaat?!?
Another reason to ignore the buffet line is the mindless eating. If you’re standing around chatting it up with acquaintances, chances are, you are popping those luke warm mini quiches into your mouth like candy, and you’re not even tasting the mediocre food, so really what’s the point?
Let me give you an example.
How many times have you been asked a question right as you cram a petit four into your mouth and how many times have you tried to chew it up and swallow it at lightning fast speeds just so you can answer the question, “So what do you do for a living?” I’m willing to bet there was no pleasure involved when eating that petit four.
3) The Balancing Act
Yet one more reason to go sans buffet is the whole inconvenience factor. Picture it. You’re standing there, unable to find an open seat while holding a drink in one hand and a plate full of food in the other. How do you eat that food other than to awkwardly balance it on top of your glass or to ask your friend to hold the plate while you shovel it in as fast as possible?
4) Me Need Food
So say you didn’t have time to eat a decent meal before going to the party and you’re starving when you arrive. Have your date or buddy go make you a plate and limit it to that one plate. That way, your food friend will bring you their favorite picks and you don’t have to see all the other tempting options lurking on the tables. Still hungry afterwards? Have your helper fill a second plate with veggies and go to town girlfriend.
5) Wine About It…Only a Little
Have one glass of wine. Any more will cause you to throw even the best intentions of eating well out the window. Then switch over to a club soda with lime. I say club soda because then other party-goers will think it’s a cocktail. Meaning, they won’t try to push more drinks on you or be a nag by asking why you’re not drinking (and you won’t feel the need to explain).
Show off your fabulous curves by wearing something that hugs ‘em a little! And speaking of snuggier party attire, let’s talk about the food gut.
If you’re unfamiliar with what a food gut is, it occurs when one overeats to the point their stomach bloats. In other words, it kinda sorta balloons out.
The feeling can be rather uncomfortable if the eater really goes to town, but what’s even more uncomfortable is attempting to hold a food gut in while wearing clothing that’s on the form fitted side! Ugh.
Save yourself the literal bellyache by not allowing the buffet table cast you under its spell.
7) The BFF (Buddy Food Force)
Before the party begins, ask your friend to help keep your eating on track. Now, I realize it’s not the most pleasant experience in the world having another person bring attention to all the mindless munching you’ve been doing throughout the evening, but remember, your friend is just doing what you asked.
Bringing in backup is ideal when you are known to put attack plans in place before attending a function, only to kick them to the curb once you lay eyes on the dessert table (been there, done that).
By following through with this particular tip, you are motivated to continue pushing toward your goal. Whether that goal is to prevent the notorious holiday weight gain or simply commit to making intentional choices in terms of what, and how much, you eat.
The fact you are reaching out to your pal, and explaining why you’d like a bit of help, holds you accountable.
Alright, lovely Beastlings! That about sums it up. But before I go, I wanted to give you a quick list to jog your memory of the more common holiday party eating tips you’ve probably read over and over again throughout the years.
- Have a snack before going to the party so you’re not as hungry once your arrive
- Concentrate on socializing to keep your mind off the food
- Offer to bring a healthy dish and nosh on that.
- Drink a big glass of water before eating to help you consume less food.
- Slow down your eating (since it takes 15-20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain it’s full)
- Choose one sweet from the dessert table instead of loading your plate up with one of each
- Turn your back to the buffet and/or keep a safe distance
- Use a small plate to trick your brain into thinking you’re eating bigger portions
- Fill up on veggies and protein
Play around with both the unconventional tips as well as the more tradtional suggestions and see what works best for you.
With a few of these tricks up your sleeve, I’m certain you’ll leave the party feeling fabulous, instead of being so full, you rush to the car to undo the top button of your pants!
I’m excited to see if you end up trying one of the above tips! Don’t hesitate to tell me all about it in the comments section!
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Hey, let’s be friends!
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