How To Navigate Holiday Parties and Family Gatherings Without Ruining Your Hard Work
It’s the season for eating, drinking and being merry. Yummy food, alcohol and good times all go together, especially this time of year. So how do you have a good time without feeling completely deprived while trying to stay on track with your health and fitness goals? Well, you can stay home and avoid temptation or you can go armed to make the best food and drink decisions possible and just have a good time.
Sorry, I don’t think they’ll be serving protein smoothie martinis or low carb hot cross buns, but you can still eat and drink without totally jumping into the abyss. First, don’t go to the party already in a state of complete hunger. You’re just setting yourself up for failure. Eat a small snack like some nuts maybe. When it’s time to indulge at your get together, go for the protein packed items first and fiber filled colorful vegetables. Remember, food is to serve you, not the other way around. Don’t be a slave to food. Eat to live, don’t live to eat. After you’ve satisfied some nutritional needs, go ahead and have a little bit of this and that if you want. Just don’t go crazy. You’ll regret it tomorrow.
Now for the fun part….alcohol choices. Beer and wine just pack on the pounds, especially in the midsection. There’s no getting around it. Liquor, specifically vodka, is a better choice but even so you have to watch the extras you put in there with your vodka. If you’re having a mixer, use the Diet Cranberry or other diet fruit juice options out there. Just don’t add insult to injury and go for the White Russian or other super sweet concoction. There are so many low calorie/no calorie drinks out there for you to mix with, that you should have no problem having a low sugar/low calorie cocktail that actually tastes good.
Now for the bad news. When it comes to food AND alcohol together, you have to make a choice. In fact, my motto is you can eat or you can drink, but you can’t do both….at least not without putting on some pounds. You see when you drink alcohol, your body uses all of its resources and energy to break that alcohol down as fast as possible and get it out of the body. So that big meal you just ate, guess where it’s going? To your belly and hips. Why? Because your body is too busy trying to get the alcohol metabolized to deal with the actual food you just ingested. So it takes the simple route and says, “Hey, send this to the fat locker”. Am I saying drink on an empty stomach. No way! That’s asking for a trip to the Great White Throne. I’m simply saying snack lightly if you’d rather enjoy a few drinks. If you’re more interested in some delicious food and don’t care about tying one on, then have a glass of wine or a beer with your food and be done with it.
So I hope this helps you in the coming weeks! Enjoy the season, just don’t overdo it!