Holiday party season is in full swing, and for many of us the next few weeks will likely be full of social engagements. Celebrations are an important part of life and are actually really beneficial for your health as they connect you with friends and family and bring joy, but they can also wreak havoc if you don’t approach them mindfully.
While reckless indulging is probably not on your list of must-do’s, feeling restricted isn’t that exciting either. It is possible to celebrate with everyone else, while still making choices you don’t wake up regretting the next morning.
Practice mindful eating. Ask yourself what you’re really craving. Do you want the booze because you are experiencing social anxiety or because it’s a fun way to celebrate with friends? Do you want the mini quiches because they’re there, or are you actually hungry?
Take the focus off of food. Friends and conversation are what the focus of holiday parties are meant to be.
Eat before you go. If you aren’t sure what type of food will be available, have a light meal before you go so that do not make the mistake of showing up hungry.
Bring a dish that makes you feel good. Want to make sure you have food that holds you true to your goals, or at least guarantees you’ll have a healthy option at social gatherings? Bring your own dish to share if you are avoiding certain ingredients.
Crunch on the crudité, hummus and guacamole. They are filing, crunchy and tasty.
Pick your treat. Alcohol, sweets, fried apps. Choose one or 2. You don’t need to have all the things.
Choose wisely when it comes to alcohol. Alcohol packs a surprising number of calories. And the more drinks you have, the lower your inhibitions — and the greater your chances of eating more than you may want to.
- If you choose liquor, enjoy it neat, or with water or soda water.
- Drink a full glass of water in between each drink and try to stick to 1-2.
- Make sure to eat before you drink to avoid a peak in blood sugar…and to avoid a hangover.
- Overdo it with the booze? Take a couple of charcoal tablets to help lessen the dreaded morning after headache.
Don’t give in to “Food Pushers”. Food & drink pushers can make saying no really difficult and uncomfortable, but you can speak up for yourself, and set boundaries in a polite way. Quick phrases like “no thank you”, “I’m full, thanks anyway”, “that food actually gives me a stomach ache” are perfectly acceptable. You never need to offer a big explanation or apologize for choosing to eat in a way that makes you feel good. Ever.
My top challenges around social events are:
My game plan for addressing these at the next event is: