Whether it’s your work party, the big family gathering, your partner’s office event or the annual friends potluck this is the merrymaking time of year.
There are 3 potential trouble zones when it comes to parties and maintaining weight loss:
It may be called for dinner at 8 but you’re usually done eating by 6pm.
Heavy appetizers, open bars, desserts galore and seasonal faves. Very different from your typical Monday night in February.
The social situation.
People you don’t know. People you don’t like. Having to interact when you’d rather be snuggled up by the fire reading a good book (or any book, for that matter).
The very first thing to do is take a deep breath and reach for your calendar.
Planning is the key (sound familiar?) and planning for the party food/situation is critical to your success. Here’s your guide:
3 Steps To Maintaining Your Weight During Party Season
Step 1: Decide which events are worth your time
Gather all the invites and go through them one at a time. Ask yourself this essential question:
Do you want to go?
Seems straightforward but I’m really asking you to evaluate the situation and decide what’s best for you now, this year, given your present circumstances.
Even if you always go, stop to think if you have fun. Do you like the people, the atmosphere, the food choices? If not, re-think it this year.
A polite decline (“We’re so sorry to miss the fun!”) is all it takes to free you from an unwanted or tricky situation.
This may be the most important step and all you need to keep your weight in check during the holidays. If you skip the stress and discomfort of a triggering fete, you could be strolling down easy street the rest of the season.
Step 2: Mark the days and times of each party you’re thrilled to attend
If it’s one or two a week, you’re good. Eating consciously the rest of the week allows for a heavier meal or two.
If your dance card is filled with party after party, strategy is required—move on to Step 3.
Step 3: Plan your food week with the parties in mind
Hopefully you’re used to planning your food week—you know when you’re eating out (those are higher calorie meals) and which meals are home cooked (comparatively lower calories).
With Holiday season it becomes even more important.
Note all the parties that involve food and start making choices.
Do you know what will be served?
If it’s an annual thing, you likely know the menu. Does it include some of your absolute favorites? Factor that into your food week.
Can you find out the menu? Contact the host and inquire.
Is it scheduled for a time you can skip the party food altogether? Eating your regular dinner (or a high protein snack) before you go allows you to focus on the attendees and avoid the worry of the unknown.
A little time now means a lot fewer calories in the next several weeks.
Now that’s something to celebrate.