How To Stay On Track

Corporate parties, family get-togethers and other holiday gatherings mean lots of festive food and cocktails that can put a damper on even the most-seasoned dieter’s efforts. By taking a different approach this season, you can enjoy your favorite foods.

“I already had one bad meal, so I might as well enjoy the rest of the weekend.” Does that sound familiar? Instead of throwing in the towel on your diet and falling back on negative behavior, try something different this holiday season. With a little planning and a can-do attitude, you’ll enjoy some of your favorite holiday foods.

When to Indulge

Resist having treats at every party. Give yourself a limit and stick to it—maybe two treats per week or maybe three. You’ll still get to enjoy sweets without wrecking your weight-loss goals or your social life. Look at your schedule for the week ahead. When do you have events planned? When will you most likely want to indulge in less than healthful food and beverages? Save your weekly treat allowance for those events. The holiday luncheon at work is not the place to dig into cupcakes if you plan to attend ‘Friendsgiving’ on Friday night. Most importantly, the foods you choose need to be worth the calories. Don’t settle for something that doesn’t satisfy your taste buds. Be picky about your treat choices and select only your faves. Mashed potatoes not really your cup of tea, but dessert is? Skip the taters and eat a small portion of the sweet stuff. You’ll feel good about your choice without going overboard.

How to Make Up After a Big Party

The worst thing you can do after you eat a bit too much is starve yourself to try to counteract the indulgence. The body just doesn’t work that way. Instead, forgive yourself and move on. Get back on track with your healthy eating routine and avoid skipping meals. If you go a little too far with the hors d’oeuvres and cocktails, drink as much water as possible the next day and load up on high-fiber fruits and veggies that are packed with vitamins and minerals to help rebalance hydration and relieve bloating.

Stick to the Plan

Even the best-laid plans go awry. That’s why it’s important to form a plan for when something does go wrong. Then do your best to stick to your strategy. Eat something healthy before you go to a gathering, so you don’t show up hungry, which only leads to overeating and making poor food choices. Ask the host beforehand what food will be served so you can map out what to eat ahead of time. If there won’t be good-for-you choices, decide whether to eat a meal before or after the event, or use the party to indulge in one of your allotted treats. What if you show up on an empty stomach and find only high-calorie, low-nutrition foods? No worries. Drink water and choose protein foods and veggies to keep full while enjoying the evening.

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