Holiday parties are among us and everywhere we turn there are sweet and savory treats tantalizing us. It would be one thing if all these treats were limited to parties, but we all know they’re not.
We’ve all said it at one time or another… “Oh, I’ll just take these leftovers to the office on Monday!” Except, everyone else is saying the same thing. So now, the slightly stale but mostly delicious remains of 20 of your co-workers weekend holiday parties are now taking up prime real estate in the breakroom and you’re wondering how you’re ever going to make it out alive.
For some reason, we all live by the belief that holiday treats are all delicious. There’s almost this air of excitement about it all. I don’t know about you, but every year I realize there are actually very few truly delicious things at all these parties. Much of it is mediocre at best. So, before I even venture into the top 7 tips, I’ll give you a bonus – Only eat what you know you love.
Typically we frequent many of the same gatherings year after year. We know what food to expect. We know what we love and what we don’t. So, don’t waste your time on anything mediocre. Save your splurges for the good stuff.
As usual, we’ve brought you all the tips you’ll need to make it through these holiday parties (and the office breakroom) without demolishing all the hard work you’ve put in leading up to this holiday season. Contrary to popular belief, this time of year doesn’t have to throw you off track at all! So, let’s dive in.
The Top 7 Tips for Enjoying The Holidays Without Ruining Your Diet
1. Eat Before You Go
This method is tried and true. If you don’t want to overdo it at the holiday party, eat ahead of time and limit your party fare to one little thing you know you love.
2. Plan a Low-Bite Day Leading up to the Party
If you know the party you’re going to later is going to have amazing food you know you want to indulge in, that’s great! Keep your food consumption low-bit all day leading up to the party. This doesn’t mean starving yourself. It just means being conscious and planning your days food around that night’s party.
3. Don’t Fall Off the Tracking Wagon
Whatever you eat is okay. There is no holiday food shaming allowed! Keep tracking no matter what. Don’t hide from whatever you ate by losing track and getting out of the habit you’ve worked so hard to create during the rest of the year. Tracking will help keep you from going overboard. But again, and we can’t stress this enough… Do not shame yourself for anything you eat during the holiday season… or ever for that matter!
4. Bring Something You Know You Can Eat
If you’re going to a potluck style party where everyone brings a dish, bring something you know you can eat. That way, you already know going into it there’s at least one thing you can eat. It’s as simple as that!
If the party you’re attending doesn’t require you to bring a dish, and you didn’t eat ahead of time, pack a snack in your bag and don’t be afraid to eat it discreetly throughout the night. If you need to blame something, tell anyone who asks that you have strict dietary restrictions and didn’t want to burden anyone with them. Doesn’t matter if it isn’t true, it’s not their business anyway! Remember, you and your health are your top priority. Do whatever you need to do to feel your best.
5. Use One Small Plate
You may not always have the option of using a smaller plate, but when you do, utilize it! Limit yourself to that one plate. It will help you control your portion sizes. And, since you’ve decided you’re only going to eat what comfortably fits on that one plate, you won’t have to battle yourself about going back for more. One plate, enjoy every bite, then move on.
If you only have the option of a full size dinner plate, be mindful of your portion sizes. Rather than slapping an entire spoonful of everything onto your plate, try using only half a spoonful instead. Use less if it’s something you don’t even know if you’ll like. As you’re filling your plate, make sure you can still see sections of the bottom of your plate by the time you’ve gotten everything you want, and you’ll be in good shape.
6. Pack Your Lunch and Avoid the Breakroom
This is the oldest trick in the book for winning at work during the holiday season. Pack a lunch box you can keep at your desk. This means packing food that can stay fresh with a simple ice pack and doesn’t need to be microwaved. If you typically stick your lunch in the fridge and pop the contents into the microwave at lunch time, you’re going to need to get creative and plan on something different for the next several weeks. If you have no idea what to pack, head over to the iTrackBites community and ask one of our many groups for ideas!
7. Drink more water
Filling up on water will keep you from not only eating less at these parties, but also drinking less alcohol. Of course it’s okay to indulge with some tasty holiday themed adult beverages (and hey, we get it, family isn’t always grand and sometimes you need a little booze to make it through). But, make sure you stay fully hydrated with water to keep everything balanced.
Remember, the holidays and holiday parties aren’t only about the food. Rather than hyper focusing on food, focus more on enjoying your loved ones, playing games, singing carols, watching Christmas movies or whatever else you enjoy about this time of year.