Avoiding the Holiday Party Bulge

Between office functions, family gatherings, and friends‘ parties, your December calendar is crammed with opportunities for reveling in holiday spirit, as well as packing on a pound or two or three or….

But it doesn’t have to be that way!  Here are some tips to keep you looking and feeling great while enjoying the spirit of the holidays!

Holiday Party Game Plan:

Have a healthy snack beforehand. If you arrive at the party in starvation mode, your body will command you to shove food in your mouth, and you’ll end up eating a whole lot more high-calorie treats than if you arrived satisfied or mildly hungry.

If you do come to the party hungry, put all the food you want to eat on a plate. It’s hard to keep track of how much you’re eating when you pick here and there.  Remember that your stomach is approximately the size of your fist, and only eat until you start to feel full.  If there are more treats you’d like to have, wait at least 20 minutes and ask yourself again if you want to eat more.  That will give your stomach a chance to more accurately gauge its level of fullness.

Between each alcoholic drink, sip a glass of sparkling water with a wedge of lemon or lime. It will still look like an adult beverage to others, will give you something to hold and drink, and will keep you hydrated.  It’s also a great way to avoid getting too toasty, which often leads to mindless eating and drinking!

Don’t stand next to the buffet table! It’s too tempting to be arms length from tasty belly busters, so give yourself a chance and stand as far away from the food as possible!  If you have to battle the crowds to get to the food, you’re less likely to overindulge.

If you lose all willpower surrounded by holiday treats and sweets, make a game out of it! You can have that brownie, but tell yourself you must talk to five people you’ve never met before you can indulge.  Or you can delight in that spiced apple cider, but you need to make it last throughout Aunt Shirley’s long-winded story.  You get the idea!

Drop some peppermint oil in your mouth. Peppermint is a natural appetite suppressant, and when your mouth is all fresh and minty, food doesn’t taste as yummy.  I use this peppermint oil–it’s 100% pure therapeutic-grade essential oil–just one drop on the tongue is all you need to feel intensely fresh (and NOT hungry!)

Don’t get too wrapped up in guilt! While there’s no reason to gain a lot of weight during the holidays, expecting to lose pounds this time of year is not realistic.  It’s normal to crave heavier foods during the winter, when our biology responds to the cold weather and limited light.  Do what you can to be healthy and active, but don’t worry yourself into a panic.  Gaining a pound or two should not turn your world upside down, or affect the way you think of yourself.  You’re an amazing person no matter what you look like!

In this season of giving and sharing, be grateful for your friends and family, savor the food you eat, and above all…enjoy life!

Happy Holidays!

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