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How to Eat Smart During Holiday Parties

party-photoIt’s holiday season! That means lots of delicious food everywhere! Do you struggle with what to eat at these events? Do you find it hard to make healthy choices? I’m here to help! The best way to walk into a party is with a game plan.

Below are 10 things you can do to help you avoid a food hangover.

  1. Sleep Well – A recent study found that after a short night’s sleep adults ate about an extra 300 calories and tended to choose higher-fat, higher-calorie foods. When women lack sleep they may feel less full after eating, while men tend to have an increased appetite. By getting your zzzs, you’ll save calories and make healthier choices.
  2. Eat a high fiber snack before you go. (it’s the same reason why I tell people not to go to the grocery store hungry). Eat a snack before you go. Greek yogurt and vegetables or even have a protein shake! That way those tempting high calorie foods will not be as tempting.
  3. Hydrate before you go – drink lots of water all through the holidays. Often we think we are hungry but in fact we are dehydrated.
  4. Bring a healthy appetizer to the party, so you’ll know there’ll be at least one option you can load on your plate.
  5. Downsize your plate to trick your brain into thinking you are eating more. Use an appetizer or salad plate instead of a dinner plate and eat 40 percent less, cutting 1,200 calories.
  6. Choose Wisely – Research suggests that you’ll consume the largest quantity of the foods you eat first, so set yourself up for success by starting with something low-calorie. Try fresh veggies and hummus.
  7. Place a big salad or vegetables on your plate. Fill up your holiday plate with healthy foods first so there isn’t room for those other foods. Then you will look down and realize that your plate is already full.
  8. Chew your food longer and eat slower – Your brain will think you’ve eaten more. So nibble, don’t gobble. By taking smaller bites and chewing more, you’ll naturally eat less.
  9. Be strategic about alcohol. Did you know that soda is loaded with empty calories? Alcohol not only adds calories but also loosens your resolve to stay healthy. Stick to wine or spritzers and if you have a cocktail, go for one that is mixed with club soda or tonic water. If you have a juice-based drink, ask the bartender to put a spritz of seltzer in with it. Drink a glass of water in between each alcoholic beverage. This will help keep you hydrated.
  10. Move away from the food table so you don’t graze. Try to focus on the event and not the food. Spend time talking to people.
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