Whether it’s cookie baking parties, work or school holiday parties, getting together with friends or neighbors, etc, there are a LOT of opportunities this winter season to socialize. With that comes the need for thoughtful preparation to maintain your healthy path.
Our Top Ten Party Tricks
When going to a party where you want to avoid unhealthy snacks or drinks, there are some tips you can follow to stay on track and still enjoy yourself. We are all aware that the challenges of social holiday gatherings take more than just self-discipline and good decision making. Families have complex dynamics, friends can be persistent, and work events stressful. Some simple preparation can go a long way in helping you enjoy the events while sticking to your weight loss goals.
- Prepare for the party by thinking about how you want it to go. That may mean eating beforehand (if possible), or bringing a dish that you would like to eat.
- Sometimes family gatherings can bring you into contact with enablers or people who encourage overeating. If you’re going into a potentially stressful event, think about positive responses to people suggesting you eat or drink things outside of your comfort zone (we like a distraction or a dodge for example, “I’m the designated driver tonight, can you help me find the ice?” or “Wow that looks great, maybe in a little bit.”).
- Don’t go it alone, enlist the help of a partner to be a buffer.
- Also, think about who you are going to see and what you want to talk about so you don’t find yourself idling by the food table.
- And if you are eating, set limits ahead of time on how much or what you are going to eat.
- If you are going to a casual event, try to eat beforehand and then socialize away from the dessert table. People are going to the party to socialize, not to eat, so chances are nobody will notice if you are not eating.
- Sometimes it helps to hold a drink instead of a plate. For catered parties, there are always non-alcoholic options and for informal parties, try bringing your own, such as unsweetened iced tea or homemade fruit flavored water.
- If you can’t avoid the peer pressure, it’s probably not about you. Sometimes pushy hosts are simply trying to make sure everyone is enjoying themselves so be prepared to let them know you are having a good time while sidestepping their plate of cookies, and try out the responses you prepared beforehand.
- One of our favorite tricks after a holiday party is to get away for a little bit and go for a walk (weather permitting of course). A stroll outside can stretch the body and lift the spirits.
- Congratulate yourself on having a mindful mingle!
These techniques can help you have a fulfilling and less stressful holiday season (and for parties year-round as well!). With a little practice, we are confident you can build boundaries and strengthen self control to prioritize your goals. We wish you a joyful and healthful holiday season!