It’s Friday in December which likely means you have a holiday party on your calendar this weekend. This is such a fun time of year with company parties, cookie and ornament exchanges, and lots of opportunities to be merry and mix and mingle with friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors. But with each of these events comes the temptation to indulge in too much alcohol or too many sweets (my weakness).
Healthy living is a marathon. So I say go ahead and enjoy . . . . in moderation, of course. We’ll get back to our healthy routines in January. My philosophy between Thanksgiving and New Years is to maintain my healthy habits as much as I can and not to sweat the rest. I think it’s alright to indulge more than you normally would. But I also try not to go off the deep end and party like there’s no tomorrow. Today I’m sharing with you 5 tips that I use to get through this decadent part of the year.
#1 Eat A Light Meal With Protein Before Heading To A Holiday Party
I try my best to eat a light meal with protein before heading out to a holiday party so that I’m not starving when I get there. I know the majority of the offerings are not going to be healthy so I try to fill my tummy beforehand with slow-burning protein that will tie me over. If I arrive hungry I know I will make bad choices from the start. If I’ve had a healthy bite to eat beforehand I’ve given myself the freedom to indulge a bit at the event.
I know it’s not always possible to plan ahead but, if I can, a peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat or a few slices of turkey and hummus in a whole grain wrap fit the bill. They are quick to make and easy to eat on the go. I eat a lot in my car, unfortunately (because I’m always running late), so for me the best options have to be portable. Not ideal but that’s how life usually goes.
#2 If You Are Not Able To Eat Beforehand, Fill Your Plate With Vegetables And Protein First
If you’re at the buffet at your company holiday party and you’ve rushed over from work or from an afternoon of driving carpool and didn’t get a chance to eat beforehand, try and fill your plate with protein and vegetables. They should makeup half your plate. Chicken and turkey are the best options. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, or asparagus are ideal. Finally, if I indulge in less healthy options, I try not to get down on myself. Just aim to eat healthy and/or work extra hard in the gym the next day.
#3 Stick To One (Maybe) Two Drinks Max
Try and stick to one (maybe) two drinks max. Your body will thank you for it tomorrow. There are a lot of empty calories and a ton of sugar in a glass of wine, girlfriend. If it’s a generous pour — stick to one drink. Resist the temptation to go back to the bar for another. Plus, you’ll feel a lot better when you’re at your kids’ Saturday morning basketball games if you stop drinking early.
#4 Drink A Ton Of Water
Water will keep you hydrated (which is so important after an evening out) and it will help your body process the evening’s indulgences so much faster. I usually end my evening drinking a box of coconut water to make sure I’m properly hydrated before I go to bed. If you don’t have any on hand or if you forget, try this lemon and olive oil detox drink in the morning to reenergize your system. You can find the recipe for it here. It cleanses your system and I always feel energized after drinking it.
#5 Fit In A Workout Any Way You Can
I try and fit in as many workouts as I can between Thanksgiving and New Years. It’s so much harder to do so between the kids’ school parties, holiday gift shopping, and all the usual stuff going on but it always makes me feel better especially if I’ve been indulging more than usual. Even just a quick 30 minute run or brisk walk is better than nothing. The goal this month is to maintain — you don’t want one day of bad choices to snowball into a weekend, then a few weeks of unhealthy eating and drinking. That will make January very, very painful.
Happy holidays everyone! If you have any tips to add to this list leave a comment below. We can all use a little help from a girlfriend.
Photography by Anna Meyer
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