Holiday parties and still lose weight? Yes!

November 21, 2013 by  
Filed under Nutrition Tips

Clients ask us constantly how to handle the ‘dreaded’ holiday party so I thought I’d share some strategies we tell our clients:

Before the Party

1. Prioritize your most important parties: You can afford to ‘indulge’ one night per week without totally undoing your weight loss efforts (by ‘indulge’ I mean hitting the appy table or having dessert, or maybe having a little more wine than usual). Pick the function you’re most excited about and plan to ‘indulge’ at that party…if you’ve got more than one party in a week, commit to sticking to your plan for the others.

2. A party is only one eating event (like a dinner party or a party planned around a snack time (think cocktail party), not an entire day: Follow your regular eating pattern the day of the party so you stay on track and don’t arrive to the party starving. The result? You contained any overindulgences to one meal or snack, and are ready to get right back on track.

3. Keep the calories down: Offer to bring a vegetable dish like salad with light dressing or an appetizer of veggies and hummus. This way you can be sure there’s enough veggies to fill half your plate with a low calorie option, making sticking to your plan and the plate model a breeze! 

 At the Party

1. Follow the plate model: Fill half your plate with veggies, include a starch about the size of your fist and always include some protein, the size of the palm of your hand.

2. Choose your starch, protein and veggies wisely: Think lightly dressed salad, grilled or plain cut veggies.  For starch opt for a dinner roll or pita, rice pilaf, or roasted potatoes versus chips, crackers, or mashed potatoes. For protein, go lean with shrimp, chicken breast or sliced ham versus cheese or high fat deli meats like salami.

3. Put everything you’re going to eat on your plate at once: There is something incredibly satisfying about seeing a whole plate of food and then eating it….and you’re less likely to overeat ;)

4. If you don’t usually have an appy or dessert with your dinner, then there’s no need to when you’re out either. If you do indulge, then keep it to around 100 calories: that’s 2 small pieces of cheese, 1 cookie, or a small glass of wine.

After the Party

Get right back on track. Make the days between parties count by following your plan and you won’t have to sweat the odd indulgence! The scale will thank you too!