Christmas Party Tips & Tricks
And a free PDF to download (scroll to the bottom)
If you don’t have time to read this guide right now, scroll straight to the end and download the free PDF to keep on hand for when you need it. Spread some Christmas cheer and share with your friends while you’re at it!
So it’s that time of year again when we’re surrounded by the temptations of the ‘silly season.’ You have parties to go to with your friends, Christmas break-ups, work do’s and New Year’s parties not to mention the big feast on Christmas Day itself. Do you have a plan/strategy for how you’re going to deal with it all, or do you just throw caution to the wind and worry about the damage afterwards?
Here’s a little statistic that I’d like to share: the average weight gain for the holiday season is about ½kg or 1 pound — which might not sound like much, but research shows that most of us don’t lose it, so that keeps adding up year after year. And for people who are already overweight, it’s worse, it’s a little over 2kg’s or 5 pounds.
Anyway, enough of the bad news, now I want to share with you my top tips and strategies for enjoying festive season food and drink without doing too much damage. So without any further ado, let’s get into it:
- Don’t fast or skip meals before a party or big meal. Planning to ‘save’ your calories will only lead to being starving hungry and over-eating. If you’re going out for dinner, eat breakfast and lunch as normal and healthy snacks such as fresh fruit, nuts and raw veggies. If you’re attending a party with finger food, eat your dinner as normal before you go — it’ll be much easier to make good choices you won’t regret later.
- When you do decide to have an indulgent dessert, use the ‘three bite’ idea — have a small amount, really savour each mouthful and enjoy it without feeling guilty.
- The calories in alcohol can add up pretty quickly and who doesn’t love a glass of bubbly to celebrate good times with family and friends? My two favourite alcohol related strategies are simple — the first is to be the designated driver, which means that you either won’t drink or you’ll only have one as you’re driving. Number two is to alternate between alcohol and water. Have a beer/glass of wine followed by a glass of water — repeat. This not only halves the amount of calories you consume, it’ll keep you hydrated and help you feel better the next day!
- If you’re going to a party, wear your favourite skinny jeans or tight fitting dress — whatever makes you feel slim and sexy. Not only will you look and feel fantastic, your outfit will make sure that you don’t over eat.
- The polite refusal technique is a simple yet very effective way to deal with ‘food pushers’ — you know, the people who you feel obligated to take food from. Something along the lines of “thank you for offering, they/it look/s amazing. I’m too full to enjoy one/some right now, so can I take some home/try some next time?” You’re saying no without hurting their feelings. Just remember to smile genuinely, refuse politely and offer a compliment.
- Make sure you always have a healthy snack in your handbag. Shopping and running errands can be very time consuming and it can be easy to give in to less nutritious food court temptations, unless you’re prepared. Same goes for road trips — plan ahead, take your own healthy food and then the only reason to stop at Maccas is for coffee!
- Stay hydrated — thirst can often feel like hunger, so keep up your water intake and if you feel hungry in between meals, have a glass of water first. If you’re still hungry ten minutes later, then enjoy a healthy snack.
- Have fruit and veggie snacks on hand if you’re tempted to nibble while preparing food.
- Offer to bring a fruit or veggie platter to a party — then you know there’ll be something healthy to nibble on. You’ll be surprised how many others will appreciate it too.
- Stick with your regular exercise routine — it’s easier to do it than not to! It’s all too easy to put off a session because you’re busy, or even worse because of a party or dinner. At the time you promise yourself that you’ll catch up, but if you’re honest you know you probably won’t. So make sure your exercise is scheduled in, re-adjust if necessary and stick to it.
- And last but not least, allow yourself a splurge as a one-off, but get back to normal the next day. You can even plan to do a little bit of extra exercise to make up for it, if that makes you feel better.
I really hope these simple strategies help you negotiate the minefield of the Silly Season and stay on track with your health and fitness goals.
Here’s cheers to a Merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year!