I despise most holiday healthy eating blog post and articles. They’re usually filled with strategies that I just don’t find helpful, or more like it, realistic. “Don’t stand next to the food table”, “Nibble on the crudité”, “Eat before you go” (admittedly this one can be used successfully). Blah blah blah. The only problem is the office mates you want to socialize with are all hovering over the baked brie, the crudité pales in comparison to the crab dip, and in spite of the fact the you ate before going to the party, you can ALWAYS find room for Aunt Betsy’s sour cream pound cake.
This time of year is a time for celebration, and while I don’t think anyone should tie on the food bag, I do think that refusing every treat of the season will leave you feeling deprived only pushing you to eat other sugary and starchy foods when you return home from the party.
So how can you eat, really eat (and drink), during the season without feeling deprived or overindulging? Over the next week I’ll be sharing some (hopefully) useful strategies with you.
Let’s start with drinkin’
- A “welcome” drink is welcome…as long as you limit yourself to just one. Alcohol is calorically dense, so choose a lower calorie drink option. White wine spritzers, vodka with club soda, a splash of cranberry and squeeze of lime; or infused vodka (think vanilla, citrus, berry or chocolate infused vodka) on the rocks are a few choices that come to mind.
- The Afterschool Special effect, aka Peer Pressure – If peer pressure to drink is still a problem, then you should skip the drinking all together and wait until you’ve graduated from middle school. You’re obviously not an adult yet if other people can “make” you drink. Snarkiness aside, I realize that there are certain situations (business parties come to mind) where your refusal to drink brings you under scrutiny. After all, Mr. Slate might not sign that big contract with the firm if Flintstone doesn’t imbibe with the rest of the boys. [Aside: I always wonder what people who can’t drink, say recovering alcoholics or people who don’t drink for religious reasons, do in these situations. I would hope that co-workers/potential clients would be accepting] So, if your co-workers know that you drink, use this tried and true strategy from one of my BFFs who often has dinners out with corporate clients. Order one “real” drink (something from strategy #1 or even a regular drink) and then surreptitiously tell the waiter/bartender that every time you order a vodka tonic he should bring you a club soda instead. Slip him a 20 if you have to.
- Lie – Yep, sometimes it just comes down to a well-crafted lie. Red wine gives you a headache. You just found religion. You only drink top-shelf vodka (only works if they’re serving the cheap stuff at the party).
- Finally, if you’re going to have more than one drink – slow yourself down. Alternate each alcoholic beverage with a full glass of water. And for God sakes make sure you have a designated driver.
Up next – we’ll tackle appetizers and passed hors d’oeuvres.
Check out our 21-Day Holiday Fat Loss Success Program for even more strategies for surviving the holidays.