Can you enjoy holiday parties without packing on the pounds? Absolutely, here are some helpful tips.


Eat regularly

Avoid the temptation to starve yourself before the party. Include protein, complex carbs and fiber for balanced meals with high nutritional value. Don’t be shy about adding in a little fat. This combination will help you feel fuller, longer so you won’t feel tempted to load up on high calorie foods when at the party.


Stay hydrated

Thirst often masquerades as hunger, so drink plenty of water ahead of time. If you’re drinking alcohol, alternate with water.


Skip anything that isn’t special

Think of calories like money. Spend them only on well-crafted items that you can’t get just anywhere. Be choosy about what you put on your plate. Skip anything common like chips and dip. Use your calories for worthwhile items like your best friend’s homemade pie.


Savor each bite

Notice the taste and texture of food as you eat. Most of us eat long after we are full or have stopped enjoying the food. Slow down and notice how you are experiencing the food. If you don’t love it, leave it on the plate.


Tighten your belt

Loose-fitting clothes make it easy to eat with abandon. Tighten your belt as a reminder to eat with your waistline in mind.


Eat in stages

Serve yourself on a small plate. Choose mostly foods that support your health and weight goals. After you eat, get back to the party. Chat, dance, play holiday games…whatever helps you focus on enjoying the event rather than the food. If you are still hungry after at least 30 minutes have passed, enjoy another small plate of food.


Keep exercising

Gather the gang for an after dinner walk or stick with your workout routine. Whatever you do, keep moving. Look for ways to move more all day. Maybe do calf raises when standing in line or squats while you brush your teeth. Add in some high intensity interval training to get more calories and fat burning power. 


Holiday parties don’t have to mean you fall off the health bandwagon. Choose foods wisely and enjoy treats in moderation. Keep exercising, even when you’re busy and you’ll make it into the new year without the extra baggage.