How to Eat Healthy at Holiday Parties

The holiday season can be so beautiful, with all the sparkling lights or snowflakes in the air, but it can also be a stressful time of year. Have you been trying to find that perfect gift, while staying within a tight budget? Or trying not to get annoyed at that shopper with the over-flowing cart—in the “15-items or fewer” checkout line? I know I have…just take a few deep breaths…

Then there are all the holiday parties filling up our calendar, not to mention waistlines. Whew! We’ve been to five holiday parties in the past week. Luckily (or unluckily?) for me, I can’t eat gluten or dairy. So if I’m not 100% sure what is in something on the buffet table, I won’t risk eating it because I don’t want to end up sick. Often times there is very little for me to eat at holiday parties, so I’ve had some challenges.

If you want to keep from packing on the extra pounds over the holidays, or just want to feel better the next day, what can you do? Here are a few tricks that work for me:

7 tips to help you eat healthy at holiday parties

  1. Eat a healthy dinner or large, healthy snack before you go to a party, so you’re not as tempted to fill up at the party
  2. Drink a 16oz glass of water before heading to the party, which will also help fill you up
  3. Stick to the healthy snacks, such as crudités (cut vegetables), fruits, or nuts and olives, (both of which can be high in salt so be aware of that if you are on a low sodium diet)
  4. Limit your alcoholic beverages to two, and drink a big glass of water in between the two
  5. If it happens to be a pot-luck, bring a healthy snack to share, then you can be sure of having something healthy to eat
  6. Keep in mind that while a snack may taste great to your taste buds for 2-3 minutes after you’ve eaten it, it can linger on your waistline for much longer than that. Is that 2-3 minute “yummy taste” really worth the “battle of the bulge” come January?
  7. Remember that sugar is 8-times more addictive than cocaine. Once you have one bite of something sweet, your brain will just want more. Better to avoid sugar all together to begin with, if you are serious about trying to stay healthy and not gain weight.
  8. Bonus tip just for the girls: carry your cute holiday clutch in one hand so you only have one hand free for drink OR food, not both at the same time.

If you happen to have food allergies, like me, it’s an easy excuse to avoid the food table all together. Just be sure to watch your alcohol consumption if you’re not eating anything.

Have a healthy, fun holiday season!

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