How to Enjoy Christmas Parties without Compromising Your Waistline

Christmas CookiesChristmas is one of the most challenging times of year when it comes to watching your weight. Temptations are everywhere, and difficult to resist. Here are a few ways to watch your waistline while still enjoying holiday festivities.

Decide which parties to attend.

If you’re invited to three parties in one night, it might be tempting to attend all of them, but if you do, you’ll have three times the food and drink. Perhaps going to one or two is a better idea.

If you can, find out what will be served.

Some parties serve a full meal, while others have only snacks and drinks. If you know ahead of time how much food and drink will be available, you can create a plan and stick with it.

Don’t go to the party hungry.

If you’ll have a meal, eat a light snack before you go so you won’t overindulge in appetizers. It seems like meals are always delayed at parties! If you’ll enjoy snacks only, eat a small meal before you leave. You’ll be less likely to eat too many Christmas cookies.

Decide how many drinks you can have.

If you’re driving, ideally you shouldn’t drink at all—but if you decide to indulge, have no more than one glass or wine, one beer, or one single-shot mixed drink per hour. And yes, watch the clock. Your liver can process approximately one drink’s worth of alcohol every 60 minutes. Wait an hour after your last drink before driving.

Better yet, have a designated driver, or plan to call a cab.

Follow the 30-minute rule.

Take half of the amount you really want to eat, enjoy it, and then wait 30 minutes before you eat anything more. It takes that long for your stomach to signal to your brain that it’s full. In that 30 minutes, you’re likely to get involved doing something else and won’t miss eating more.

Eat two or three bites of anything you wish.

If you can’t resist Aunt Millie’s Mississippi mud pie, have a small slice and eat just a couple of bites. You’ll get the taste you want without too many extra calories. The same applies to high-calorie drinks—order that raspberry margarita, enjoy three sips, and then give it to someone else.

If you overindulge, make up for it the next day.

Don’t skip meals, but if you overindulge one day, eat less the next couple of days, and be sure to drink plenty of water.

What’s your favorite waistline-watching tip?