‘Tis the Season…for a Holiday Party Eating Strategy!

How many holiday parties do you have
penciled in on your calendar? If you’re like most people, you probably have
quite a few but, before the season gets in full swing, let’s take a few minutes
to come up with a game plan.


For those of you in the low calorie phase of
the diet, Phase 2:

  • The guidelines are simple
    (“simple”, not “easy”!) You know exactly what you can eat and drink, so simply
    follow the diet.
  • When attending a holiday meal, see
    if you can find out what the main entrée will be.If it’s not allowed on the diet, bring your
    own food but treat yourself by having a more expensive entrée like crab or
  • Invest extra time and effort in
    your food preparation to denote the special occasion and avoid the feeling of
    deprivation. For example, instead of peeling and eating an orange, cut up ½
    orange with ½handful of sliced strawberries in
    a fancy desert dish.
  • Focus on the people rather than
    the food and enjoy!

3 and Beyond

For those in maintenance, Phase 3, or in “the
rest of your life”, follow these tips:

  • Don’t skip meals or arrive at a
    holiday party on an empty stomach. In fact, it’s a good idea to eat a healthy
    snack and have a tall glass of water before going to the party.
  • Don’t sit or stand next to snacks
    like bowls of nuts, mints or chocolates.
  • Be careful with all drinks.
    Non-alcoholic beverages can be full of calories and sugar. Alcoholic beverages
    also have calories and sugar, and they lessen inhibitions and induce
  • If you’re asked to bring a dish,
    bring a healthy one. For example, take fresh green beans instead of green bean
  • Scan the buffet table before you make your plate so you can
    map it out in your brain.
  • If the hostess has provided
    different sizes of dinner plates, maybe one size for the kids and one size for
    the adults, use a kids plate.
  • Go heavy on items like roast
    turkey, salad, and fresh vegetables but go light on things that are saucy and
    creamy, i.e., broccoli rice casserole.
  • Take small portions. If you think
    about it, the greatest satisfaction comes from the first bite and the last bite
    of something, why waste calories on so many bites in between?
  • Take smaller bites and chew your
    food longer than normal. This will trick your brain into thinking you’ve eaten
  • Eat slowly and chew your food
    thoroughly, savoring the flavor of all your favorite holiday foods.
  • Stop eating when you feel satisfied,
    not stuffed.
  • Relocate yourself away from the
    table after you’ve finished eating. As you resume visiting with other guests, keep
    yourself more than an arm’s length away from cookie trays and dessert bars.

Following these guidelines will help you to stay energized, stay
comfortable and, most importantly, stay in control. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!