Guest Blog: Susan Harrell

Holiday parties are in season and if you’re not careful, a great time to overindulge. Whether it’s the five too many drinks at the office party or the constant grazing of the hors d’euorvers that bombard you at every setting, letting your guard down does more damage to your waistline than any single holiday meal could possibly do. Don’t get me wrong I’m not one to say that you have to diet through the holidays. Seriously, who really wants to “diet” over the holidays? Ugh, that would be miserable! However, there is a balance between enjoying the holiday fair and completely overdoing it. So besides holing up as a recluse to avoid the parties or staring longingly at the goat cheese filled crepes because you made it to the party, I have 5 tips to help you navigate holiday parties without feeling any guilt or adding an inch to your waistline.

Eat Before

This could possibly be the best trick of them all! The worst thing that one could do is to show up at a holiday party with a ravaging appetite. You might as well give up the minute you walk into the door because there is no way you can counter that. You need a pre-emptive strike. Eat a large salad or a small sandwich before you head out the door. If you feed the hunger before, there is less chance of over-eating while there.

Avoid Breading/Fried Food

If you see breading there is a good chance it was fried. Even if it wasn’t fried, there is usually some extra fat and calories mixed into that crumble you have no idea about. Grab the shrimp cocktail instead of the butterflied fried coconut shrimp.

Search for Vegetarian Options

There are of course vegetarian options that aren’t healthy because they are fried or smothered in cheese. However, more often than not, you will eat fewer calories and fat if you try to stick with the vegetarian offerings rather than the meat ones.

Avoid White Dips & Spreads

White usually means mayonnaise, sour cream, cheese….. Fat and calories! It’s super easy to grab a baby carrot or a cracker (and then 10) and keep dipping into the spread. You end up losing track of how much you are consuming and it’s going to cost you a tight belt in the morning.

Limit Your Alcohol Consumption

This is a tricky one and can possibly be the most damaging of all. A drink in your hand can be a safety blanket of sorts and it can start to sneak up on you very quickly. One glass of wine has at least 100 calories and usually more because the pours are generally more than 4 ounces. It’s very easy to just keep sipping and the next thing you know, you’ve just drunk at least 500 calories. The best way to counter this is by having one glass of water in between an alcoholic beverage. This slows down your drinking and allows you to keep track of what you are consuming so the calories don’t sneak up on you.

Keep these tips in mind during your next holiday party and your waistline will thank you come January.




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