It’s that time of the year again: holiday parties, family dinners and cocktail events dominate your calendar. But just because your schedule demands a few more nights out than normal, it doesn’t mean you have to derail your whole healthy eating plan. As you navigate the holidays and your endless stream of restaurant reservations, keep these tips in mind.
- Try not to show up starving.
This is a guaranteed bread basket disaster. If you’re planning to go out for dinner, have a high fat snack, like raw nuts or half an avocado, a few hours before and make sure to drink a lot of water so you’re not ravaged by the time you arrive.
- The one bite rule rarely works.
No-one ever had just one chip. Ever. If you’re trying to stay away from the aforementioned bread basket or the fries your friend ordered, just resist.
- Choose a protein and a vegetable.
When ordering, focus on protein and vegetables. If a dish comes with rice or potatoes, ask for extra vegetables or a side salad instead. Also, protein portions are often much larger than you need. Share with friends or try to just eat a piece about the size of your hand.
- Drink smart.
No one likes a party pooper, but back-to-back events can take their toll. When ordering alcoholic beverages, stick with wine, or spirits with soda water and citrus or bitters. Opt for premium spirits when you can and savour them, instead of throwing them back. Lastly, make sure to drink plenty of water!
- If you overindulge, just move on.
There’s no point in beating yourself up over a dessert spread binge. It happens to the best of us. If you wake up in the morning feeling guilty about the night before, make up for it with a healthy breakfast and a good snack. Don’t waste time and energy worrying about it.
Above all, make sure you end up with a meal you really enjoy. And by this, we mean one that tastes delicious and makes you feel good. There is a time and a place to indulge. Listen to your body, and most importantly, have fun!