Today’s tip is here just in time for the weekend. Did you notice that there was an extra weekend this Christmas season? With Thanksgiving falling early and Christmas falling on a Monday, we ended up with one more weekend for festivities. That’s great for getting holiday To Do’s done. That also means – and there’s good and bad to this – there’s one more weekend for cookie swaps, open houses, and parties.
We’ve been talking about holiday stress these past few days. Stress has been linked to holiday weight gain, so today let’s focus on tips for eating and drinking responsibly, especially during these busy, celebratory weekends.
- Plan ahead. That seems to be my first step for everything, right? It really is key though. If you look at your week, you will see that you have, for example, a work holiday dinner, a cookie swap with the neighbors and a Christmas party with friends all in one week. All of this leads to #2.
- Make your breakfasts & lunches lean. When you know that you have a lot of weekend and evening events coming up, aim to make your breakfasts and lunches lean. Pack some protein in them (as pictured above) to keep you satisfied. But leave room for those extra calories that you will be sure to consume at that event later that evening or during the weekend.
- Eat before you go. This is a tactic I use a lot. I have a GI disorder which means I have to maintain a diet that’s gluten-free, lactose-free and I also have to steer clear of a whole bunch of other foods like onion, garlic, scallions (and that’s just the beginning). So, buffet tables are a landmine for me. The easiest thing to do (in addition to bringing a dish that I can eat) is eat ahead of time. If we are headed to an evening event, I typically make a quick spinach & tomato omelet. It does the trick.
- Sit near the carrots. Or celery or whatever crunchy vegetable they are serving. My point here is that if you get to a point in a party where you settle in with a glass of wine to chat with your friends, be sure you take a seat that is in arms’ reach of the fresh veggies (not the M&M’s or the chocolate truffles).
- Be that person who brings the salad (or the healthy side/appetizer). Find some great recipes for these dishes and master them. You will become Salad Person. You will always know that there is one healthy dish at the party.
- Plan ahead. Similar to the approach you took for eating, look at your week. How many events do you have where drinking will be part of the plan? Remember that you are not in college anymore when you make your plan.
- Think about how you want to feel the next day. How you need to feel the next day. Visualize it.
- Plan an early class or training session at Sheehan Personal Training the day after the party. Do not let yourself cancel.
- Remember that not all drinks are created equal when it comes to calories. Think a vodka & club soda vs. egg nog. I love this post by the Nutrition Twins for the lowdown on holiday beverages.
- For every alcoholic beverage you have, drink a glass (or a bottle) of water.
- And my favorite tip for drinking responsibly during the holidays – Uber.