Healthy Christmas Work Party
The annual Christmas Party notice is posted on the bulletin board. Your reaction is to cringe. Healthy eating was finally a habit! Your kitchen is stocked with all the foods your diet requires, and now THIS.
Take heart! There are ways you can enjoy a Christmas party and stay on track with your diet. Whether you are on a weight loss program, a heart health program, a diabetes program, or any other healthy nutrition program, there are ways you can enjoy the party. Here are a few ideas to bring that holiday spirit back while staying on track with your diet.
This is probably the single most important way to keep the Christmas party healthy and fun at the same time. Yes, it is extra work for you, but avoiding the problem is even harder work. If you leave the planning to others, you may not have a choice of healthy foods on the table. When you see that sign-up sheet on the bulletin board, put your name down as soon as possible. If you’re early in the planning stages, you may be able to direct the menu.
You will typically find a bar set up for a Christmas party. There may be soft drinks, wine, beer, or liquor for mixed drinks. Perhaps there is a punch bowl. If you are part of the planning committee, be sure to insist on plenty of water, juice, club soda, and sparkling water. Offer to make the punch using fresh juice and sparkling soda or water and skip the alcohol. If you are not on the committee, you will want to prepare yourself. Overindulging at the bar is often caused by thirst, so eliminate the thirst by filling your tummy with good fresh juice and water before and during the party. Alternate any sugary or alcohol drinks you have with large glasses of water.
Trying to stay on a diet is difficult enough, but if you’re watching the clock tick at work, knowing that at a certain time there will be acres of food and drinks laid before you, it’s even harder. That’s why you want to plan to eat before you get to the party. Yes, it’s fun to look forward to all that food, but your empty stomach will make decisions you won’t find so fun in the long run. If your party starts after work, bring a good, big lunch with you that suits your dietary needs. If your party begins at mid-day, eat a hearty healthy breakfast and have a snack just before the party begins. You’re not being a ‘party pooper.’ You’re being smart.
Peruse Then Choose
When you walk into the party, stop and take a look around. Your senses may be overwhelmed at first, but if you slowly peruse the spread, you will begin to see what you need, and what you don’t need. Walk along the tables, go up to the bar, and make a few mental notes. The trouble with an over-loaded plate usually occurs when you start at the beginning of the table and just start scooping up servings. If you don’t know what’s ahead, how can you choose what you want to eat? So, take a look around, then go back and selectively serve up a plate that suits you and your diet.
This is probably the easiest of all the strategies to stay on track with your diet. Most everyone at the party will get to the dessert table and let out a little sigh. They wish they could indulge, but can’t. That’s your cue to choose a ‘dessert buddy’ and divide one of those delicious treats between you. If you were vigilant with the other strategies, you have probably saved yourself some wiggle room for dessert. However, if sugar is forbidden, this table may be off limits. That takes us back to the first strategy – sign up. If you are part of the planning committee, make sure you propose an alternative for the usual sweet dessert.
The average Christmas party is full of dietary obstacles. Getting involved with the planning and taking a few steps to avoid the pitfalls will allow you to not only attend the party, but to enjoy it.