How to Eat Healthy At Holiday Parties in 2016

holiday-partyHoliday get-togethers and parties often include food that isn’t the healthiest as well as high calorie holiday drinks and alcohol. It can be hard to stick to your healthy routine with all of the temptations and treats at your fingertips. There are easy ways to enjoy all of the festivities and visit with friends and family without getting out of control with your eating and drinking. Use these three tips to help stay on track.

Eat a well balanced snack before you go. This is one of the most important tips to help you stay on track at holiday parties. How many times have you waited to eat before you go to a party so you can eat all of the fun holiday food? Usually, postponing eating only leads to eating more than you normally would. Make sure you don’t go to a get together hungry! Instead, prepare yourself a well balanced snack before you go. This way, you won’t be starving when you get to your party and the chances of overeating are much less. It’s best to make something that contains all three macronutrients – protein, carbohydrates and fat. Enjoy a 100 – 200 calorie, well balanced snack before you head out. A meal replacement shake, meal replacement bar, small side salad or soup are easy ways to provide all of the macronutrients needed without eating a big meal. Eating your snack ahead of time ensures your getting a healthy mini meal and will help balance out blood sugar levels to avoid cravings. When you get to your holiday party, enjoy a few treats but don’t overindulge. You should be less likely crave all of the bad snacks but can still taste a few treats and have a fun holiday beverage if you’d like.

Stick to whole food. Sticking to whole foods as much as possible should help you avoid all of the processed treats with ingredients you may not be aware of. Prepackaged, pre-made hors d’ oeuvres often contain refined sugar and unhealthy fats. These types of ingredients can lead to a spike in your blood sugar because of too much sugar or too many calories. This will lead to wanting more and more of those unhealthy treats. Instead, try to stick to whole foods as much as you can. Vegetable trays with dips, protein bites and skewers and healthy fats like nuts and seeds are great options to pick from. Yes, you can still choose a few unhealthy temptations but if the majority of your food comes from healthier choices, you’ll be less likely to overeat the bad options.

Stay hydrated. Keeping yourself hydrated will reduce the chances of dehydration and also reduce the risk of mistaking thirst for hunger. Sticking with the general rule that you should drink half of your body weight in ounces will help you remain hydrated. Drink pure water for hydration – no caffeinated or sugary drinks. Dehydration can lead to your body holding onto water which in turn may lead to gaining weight and pushing the number on the scale up. Alcohol and high salt foods may lead to dehydration if you’re not continuing to drink your water on a consistent basis throughout the day. When you’re at a party, a great rule of thumb is to have one glass of water for every glass of alcohol that you have. This can help you stay completely hydrated. In addition, many times we think we’re hungry but we’re actually thirsty. If you continue to drink your water, the likelihood of you mistaking hunger and thirst and overeating might be much less.