The holidays are all about celebrating with family and friends, right? And what’s a celebration without food and drinks – and lots of ‘em? The truth is, people are exchanging more calories than hugs this time of year. So it’s up to us to set some parameters for ourselves to make sure we have a good time, without all the guilt.
It can be difficult to fight peer pressure and say no with grace, but it’s possible if you walk into the party with a plan. Here are some survival tips to help you stay on track despite the visions of sugarplums dancing in your head:
Trim the tree, trim the fat. Making simple substitutions in your diet – like 3 egg whites instead of 2 eggs – can go a long way. Add turkey bacon and salsa. Yum. Skip the wine and cookies and bring a healthy plate of food or an amazing salad to the party. Then watch how many people are relieved to see fresh veggies amidst the sea of sugar.
Ramp up your reindeer games. Get competitive with your eating (no, not like that). Set some rules – and rewards – for eating well. Maybe it’s flowers, a new outfit, new shoes… Anything that’s not food is fair game. And make the goals challenging, yet attainable. Maybe you skip dessert. Or promise to only eat and drink for 30 minutes, then switch to water for the rest of the evening. Whatever it is, make it tangible, then pat yourself on the back when you nail it.
Start a new tradition. Hit up a hard workout the day of a party. Getting your body moving will help you make good choices the rest of the day. Eat before the party. This is your chance to eat in a space where you have control over what’s on the menu. Going hungry to a party is like running full-speed to pet a kangaroo – you’re going to get knocked down and feel really bad the next day.
Sometimes fighting peer pressure is about preventing the confrontation in the first place. By getting comfortable enough with your healthy habits to stick with them, then adding a little careful pre-party planning, you’ll be able to ring in the New Year without wringing your hands over a plate of cookies.
Check out this video for more holiday survival tips.