Oh, all the parties…
And you’re trying to be really good and make sure you eat your veggies.
And all those cookies never end up making you feel that good later anyway. Sure they tasted amazing in the moment, but then you feel sluggish, drained, gassy or all of the above.
This time of year it’s hard to avoid the never-ending trail of sweets and rich foods that our friends, co-workers and family put out on the table. And try as we might to resist, at times it seems impossible. So whether you’re at work or at a party and those cookies are calling your name, below I will provide some tips you can put into practice to help silence those damn cookies!
Avoiding the holiday food goodness doesn’t have to be an all-out resistance. That would be unrealistic because it relies too much on willpower (which could be running low at any given time). This approach could be potentially harmful as well because if you did ‘cheat’ and have some yummy goodness, then you might feel like you let yourself down and that can be a downward spiral of feeling crummy about yourself. Nobody needs that. So, instead of saying ‘NO!” to all the yummy treats this holiday season, here are some hacks you can try.
Drink a Glass of Water
Most of us live in a perpetual state of slight dehydration, so not only will this help your brain function a little better–less brain fog–but you’ll also feel a little full. Many times when we feel hungry, we are actually thirsty, so this is a good trick in general. Having that glass of water will fill up your stomach for a bit and get you past the table in the staff area where someone brought in some holiday goodies and get you back to your work space without any of them in your hands.
Grab a Smaller Plate
You’re at a party and there are so many good items to chose from. If you can, grab a smaller plate so that you are limited in terms of the amount of space you have for carrying food. This may have you rethink whether you need (or want, for that matter) six sugar cookies and chips and spinach dip, too–plus who really wants spinach dip on their sugar cookies, yuck!
This trick can be used when you are sitting down for a main meal, too. Grab a smaller ‘side’ plate. We all want to try everything right? (more on that later) But it never feels good when we ate two servings of the main course and now it’s time for dessert. Then you try a few desserts too many and now you’re looking for the Tums–never a good feeling.
Eat Something Healthy Before You Go to the Party
I know this sounds ridiculous, but if you know that there will only be a bunch of unhealthy items to chose from and you really want to make sure not to overindulge, eat a healthy meal before you go. Then, when you are at the party you can maybe enjoy a holiday drink or your neighbor’s famous pecan pie and not feel like you fell off the wagon of healthy eating.
Bring a Dish to Contribute that is Healthy
If you know that most of the food/drink options at this party will not be in keeping with your nutritional standards, then bring something that you really enjoy and fill your plate with a healthy serving of your own food. Of course, you’ll want to save room for a cookie or two, but at least you’ll know you started with good nutrition.
If you feel your downfall is having one too many alcoholic or sugar-filled drinks, 1) make sure you are not the person driving, but 2) if fancy drinks are your thing, do a search for healthy, low-calorie or low-sugar ideas and bring a pitcher of some of it to share with other party goers. Lastly I would say, regardless of driving or not, know that liquid calories still can add up. Make a plan to have one or two holiday drinks, even if they’re your healthier version, and then stick to the plan.
Eat Only the Foods You Really Love
Choose the foods that truly excite you about this time of year. The food that makes your tastes buds dance and then leave all the other foods behind. You’ll be less likely to end up with an over abundance on your plate. We’ll see chocolate chip cookies anywhere, but that specific main meal item that only graces the table at this time of year, eat that.
All of these ideas come from a main theme around planning. We all want to enjoy the holiday food awesomeness, we just don’t want to stuff our faces with pie and then feel the bloat and ick feelings later. Keeping some of these tips on hand for when the sweet and rich foods/drinks roll in will help you stay on top of your nutrition plan and your nutrition goals.