Holiday parties can be challenging for those of us who strive to maintain structure and supportive habits around nutrition, especially when they’re combined with all of the other stressors that the end of the year can bring.
Here are a few tips for keeping your nutrition game in check while navigating holiday parties—or any party for that matter!
- Don’t go in hungry. You can control the food you eat before going out, but you can’t always control what’s available once you leave the house. Not only that, but hunger can make us more impulsive. When your stomach is growling and you’re faced with any type of cookie you can dream of, the veggie tray becomes less and less appealing. So, take the edge off before you go. Have a snack or a small meal before you head out the door.
- Contribute to the pot-luck. Bring a dish you’d feel comfortable eating any time of the year. You’ll know you’re walking in with something you’ll want to eat, and chances are there will be others at the party who will be relieved to see your dish as well.
- Limit your alcohol consumption. Not only are alcoholic beverages often calorie dense, a recent study shows that the ethanol in alcohol triggers AgRP neurons in the brain, which are meant to be “activated by starvation and evoke intense hunger.” And have you ever heard of a drunk person running home to make a green smoothie? Me either.
- Use smaller plates and glasses. Studies show that people eat 92% of the food on their plate. So, if you grab a big plate, you’re more likely to take bigger servings of food, and eat more than you intended to.
- Be mindful of your serving sizes. How many bacon wrapped prawns are in a serving? The answer is in your hands! Here’s an awesome guide.
- Veggies first, protein second, carbs and sweets last. Structure your trips to the appetizer table so you fill up on nutrient dense foods before honing in on the sweets last. This way, you eat a balanced meal without withholding anything from yourself, and are less likely to have a groggy sugar or salt hangover the next day.
- Finally, be prepared and be responsible. If you know you have holiday events on the way, dial in your nutrition choices throughout the rest of the week. When it comes to nutrition around the holidays, you are always in control of what you do or don’t eat. Have a “bad” night? Remove judgement from the equation. One bad night… or ten, all is not lost, unless you decide it is. You are in control of what you have for breakfast in the morning, so make a choice that supports your goals and move forward!
Want some support making it through the holiday season? We’ve got your back! Classes for our 21 Day Jump Start kick off THIS week! Check it out here. We’d love to support you in taking your fitness game safely to the next level.