Tip #39


Special Occasions

Most parties are surrounded by food. This doesn’t mean you’re going to sabotage your lean lifestyle. You just have to be prepared.

It’s very important to realize that you can function at any party or holiday with a little bit of pre-planning.  Before any Holiday sneaks up on you, create a plan on how you’re going to incorporate fitness and healthy nutrition into your daily routine.

I've always found that if you know you have a big day of eating ahead of you—Thanksgiving comes to mind—you need to make sure that you eat regularly all day long. If the party is in the afternoon, don’t forget to eat a proper breakfast. Don’t show up starving!

There are probably going to be finger-foods, sweets, and fattening entrees at your party. Here are a few tricks to help you stay true to your health goals while enjoying the festivities:

  • Make sure you’re first helping is small, since your host will always expect you to have two servings, and you need to maintain your portion control.
  • Don’t stand next to the food table.
  • Wear tighter fitting clothing that will give you no room for expansion.
  • Give leftover food away to neighbors, family, or take it to work as a leftover.
  • If you’re at a buffet table, decide on three or four favorites, and only allow one to be high in calories.
  • Bring a healthy dish with you so there will be something safe to eat. I’ll bet other people there will be very happy that you did.
  • Conversation is calorie free. Talk with your friends and family members,  since you’re there for the celebration—NOT THE FOOD.  If you're busy talking, you're not busy overeating!
  • Socialize away from the display of food.
  • Don’t arrive at parties ravenous. Eat or drink before you meet.  Have a glass of water or a serving of fruit or vegetable.
  • Select a bite-size sampling of several of the deserts or appetizers—not one huge piece.
  • Don’t waste all your calories on alcohol
  • When in doubt, always give yourself a little wiggle-room with your calories. If I know that I’m going out to eat dinner with friends at a special restaurant, I won’t eat as many calories during the day, but I still eat!
  • Make a plan. If you do what you always do—you’ll get what you always get. There has to be some alteration to get a healthy response.
  • When you feel thirsty, add ice to your drink, so you won’t drink as much.
  • Learn the art of saying, “no thanks”.
  • Don’t squander calories. If you don’t like Egg Nog—don’t drink it. That goes for anything else.
  • If you like Aunt Rita’s coconut crème pie—eat it. But, skip the mashed potatoes and rolls.

— Jaime Brenkus Health Tip 39