December means one thing (well maybe more than one thing, but for today’s blog it means one thing): parties.
Holiday parties are almost single handedly responsible for the weight gain associated with the holidays (and the drive in January to lose it).
I get it. It’s really hard to do the party circuit and not eat triple the calories you should in a day in only a few hours. So how do you go to parties, still have fun, and not feel like crap after? That’s what I’m here for today. Here’s the top 3 things you can do to survive the holiday party circuit:
Don’t make the mistake of waiting to eat until the party. I used to be very guilty of this. If I knew I was going out for a big dinner or hitting up a holiday party I would barely eat anything all day and then get there and go crazy. I figured that way the calories would balance out. Ya. That’s not how that works. There are two things working against you if you do this. First of all, if you starve yourself all day your blood sugar is going to be in a state. Research shows that this leads to increased cravings and the inability to say no. Translated-you’ll eat everything in sight once you get there. This is how it’s possible to take in 3 days worth of food in one sitting. You’ll gain weight and feel awful the next day. Say you do have the crazy willpower to only eat half of that? Well you’re still out of luck, because consuming most of your calories for the day in one sitting results in one thing-most of those calories getting stored as fat. Unless your parties are waaaaaay different than mine and involve a group workout session. In that case go for it. Instead of going this route try eating as you normally would all day (or even better). Have a balanced breakfast within one hour of waking up (important for your blood sugar later). If I know a party is going to have the worst (best) types of food like a ton of appetizers and deep fried foods, pizzas etc I’ll have a light dinner before I go. This way I’m not starving and diving into everything. I can have a few bites of what I’m really craving and still feel satisfied.
Don’t drink your calories. Honestly it’s so not worth it. Wouldn’t you rather have a few of those delicious looking appetizers or some of that amazing cheesecake for dessert than a few sips of pop? Drinking your calories is brutal because it doesn’t help you feel full (they are totally empty calories) AND the sugar in pop, juice and whatever else you think you want is immediately stored as fat. It is literally like drinking cupcakes. You wouldn’t walk around at a party stuffing cupcakes in your mouth while you eat appetizers would you? That’s exactly what you’re doing if you’re sipping on pop. Instead choose water (flavour it with fresh fruit, mint or lemon to keep it exciting). If you need something bubbly buy that club soda that’s lemon lime flavour. If you’re drinking alcohol don’t use pop or juice as mix. Use club soda. You can also try Zevia (a type of pop sweetened with stevia which doesn’t affect blood sugar the way the artificial sweeteners do in diet beverages. Stay away from those). If you drink wine you can do a few things. If you drink white, cut it with club soda and make it a spritzer, You can drink twice as much plus you’ll stay hydrated. If you drink red, read ‘about’ labels at the store. In Ontario they now list the grams of sugar per L of wine. Bottles can range from 4g of sugar up and over 100g so choose carefully. Obviously the lower the better. Finally, make sure you alternate alcoholic drinks with water. You’ll drink less calories and stay hydrated so you feel better in the morning (and aren’t tempted to eat like crap all day).
If you have a LOT of parties and occasions to eat terribly you need to be a great eater the rest of the time. You’ve probably heard of the 80/20 rule. I follow it. Basically you make great choices 80% of the time so the random treats etc that you want are no big deal (they make up the 20%). You don’t feel deprived and you don’t feel the need to binge on crap. Make your everyday life your 80%. Stop keeping treats in the house and make it a rule that you only eat them at parties (don’t start throwing parties every day to give yourself an excuse to eat them lol). Research shows that when we make rules for ourselves we are much more likely to achieve our goals. Write a list of rules. Read it each morning. Don’t break them. This will keep the balance and stop you from gaining and feeling like crap the entire month of December.
That’s it! Follow these three suggestions and you are well on your way to sailing through holiday party season unscathed!
Questions? Comments? Rules of your own? Use the comments to tell me!
PS-I have a treat for you!! I know the holidays are basically the HARDEST time to get through without eating like crap and gaining weight. Download my Starter Guide For Women Who Just Want To Lose Weight below (don't worry, it's totally free)