We are well and truly in Christmas party season! One indulgent party isn’t going to make or break your fitness goals, but some of our clients have functions every couple of days over the coming weeks. Unless you have some tricks up your sleeve, the silly season can knock you right off track, leaving your feeling sluggish and rundown at Christmas.
So how do you roll through a party, full of rich food and too much alcohol, and keep your cool? Follow our five tips to Christmas party success. You’ll thank us on New Year’s Day.
1) Check your mindset. No foods are ever off limits. So, if you try something at a function that isn’t in your day-to-day eating plan, don’t decide that you have broken your diet. It is a very typical pattern for dieters or restricted eaters to have an all or nothing mentality to food, where a small deviation from what they believe to be a “good” diet results in a full scale blowout. Ever said to yourself – “Well I’ve done it now, today’s a write-off. Might as well eat everything in sight and start again tomorrow!” It is of course very important to have some guidelines around your food intake and limit less nutritious foods. But if you are riding on tiny wagon, you are setting yourself up to fall off, and then for a struggle to get back on again.
2) Find a small plate and calmly evaluate the best options. No hanging around the table like my four year old at a birthday party. This is just another meal, and you need to serve your meal on a plate as you normally would. Make the most of what’s on offer, and try to get a good mix of protein, low GI carbs and healthy fats (if you can swing it). If there’s something that looks really good to you but isn’t on your normal eating plan, pop a small portion of that on your plate and cut back elsewhere. If you fancy a cocktail, skip the cake. If a crusty bread roll looks amazing to you, lay off the pasta salad.
3) Enjoy the meal. It is likely you will be indulging in some foods that don’t normally turn up on your plate, and that’s ok. But notice what you are eating. Sit down and pay attention! With each mouthful, recognise the different textures and the taste of the food. Appreciate the food, the company and the atmosphere.
4) Once the plate is finished, so are you. One plate of food is enough. Know that you will not be going back for seconds before you begin, and the anxiety of having to make decisions around food all night will be off your shoulders, freeing you up to enjoy the occasion.
5) Drink one glass of water between alcoholic drinks. Seriously, check yourself before you wreck yourself. Overindulging on booze not only wipes out your night, it makes healthy eating and exercising the next day really hard. Go easy on the bevvies, no regrets tomorrow!