Tips to balance holiday parties and weight loss

Lighten up this year’s holiday dinner parties by following some of these tips to help maintain weight loss over the busiest time of the year!

Eat before you go to a party – It is a common misconception that by skipping meals, you will eat fewer calories and lose weight. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Besides slowing down your metabolism, starving yourself during the day makes you more likely binge later at night. Eat small meals and snacks throughout the day and be sure to have a substantial snack before going to the party, so you are not starving when you arrive.

Drop the grain – Prepare for your holiday parties by dropping the grain the day of the event or the day after. If you have a busy week of dinners and parties, try dropping the grain for the whole week to maintain weight loss.

Fill up on protein – For appetizers or your main entrée , focus on protein’s such as salmon, shrimp, turkey, chicken or lean beef. These are the best options to keep you full and satisfied all evening long. Stay away from starchy foods and start with protein to keep your blood sugars in check.

Hit the veggie platters – Vegetables are another great choice. They are low calorically and very easy to digest, making them ideal to snack on all evening long.

Eat good fat to lose weight – In addition to eating protein and vegetables, consuming healthy fats are another great way to avoid hunger and blood sugar bounces at a party. We recommend always having grab and go nuts and seeds on hand as a quick “go to” snack option before heading to a party. Examples of healthy fats you can have throughout the day, leading up to a party include;

  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
  • 10-15 almonds or walnuts
  • ¼ of an avocado
  • 40 pistachios
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of almond, peanut or cashew butter

Slow down when you eat – It takes 20 minutes from the time you eat until your brain gets the signal that you are full. Eat slowly, put your fork down between bites and take a moment after you eat to sit back and relax. Once those 20 minutes are up, you likely won’t need that second helping.

Downsize your portions – Portion size is the key to healthy eating and weight control. Eat smaller amounts of foods, be mindful and eat slowly to allow your stomach to register a “full” sensation in your brain.

Watch alcohol consumption – An excess amount of alcohol can cause fatigue, weight gain and over eating. But let’s be honest, shall we? The holidays are the time of year when alcohol is at an all time high. Try to avoid higher calorie beverages such as eggnog and sugary cocktails and substitute with lower calorie options such as a white wine sprinter or vodka sodas with a splash of cranberry juice.

Keep up your exercise routine – Although the holidays may be a busy time, it is important to not skip your exercise routine. Remember, if you burn the calories you consume, your weight should stay the same. If you’re having trouble finding time to workout, try doing half of your regular routine, do a few laps around the mall before your holiday shopping or exercise first thing in the morning before the holiday rush swings into full gear.

De-bloat – After a late dinner out, start your morning with a warm glass of lemon water to hep de-bloat and reduce water retention.  You can also try diluting 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in water as another great way to de-bloat.  Also, make sure to drink lots of water throughout the day!