The holiday season is upon us…as are all of the fun social gathering that come along with it!

But don’t worry…participating in all the holiday cheer doesn't mean that you need to gain weight, or fall off track with eating healthy. I am here to tell you that there are lots of ways you can still enjoy all your holiday favorites. Since we are already in the first week of December, I wanted to make sure to share with you 6 tips I use for eating healthy at holiday parties throughout the season. Tip #1 - Don’t go to a party hungry. Sometimes we may think since we are going a party or social gathering later in the day we should eat less leading up to that point. That is not the case! You should eat normally throughout the day and you should also eat a light, healthy snack right before going to the party. This will keep you from rushing to the buffet table when you arrive and making poor food choices that you wouldn’t have made, had you not been starving all day and/or showing up on an empty stomach. Think about going to the holiday party on an empty stomach the same way as going to the grocery store while you are hungry. Your shopping cart ends up with a whole lot of extra items that shouldn’t and wouldn’t be in there, had you not gone to the store hungry. Your grocery cart being your plate at the party. Don’t go hungry and don’t load it with a bunch of items you wouldn’t choose were you not hungry. Tip #2 - Watch what you drink. Limit your alcohol and punch intake. A couple things to keep in mind, alcohol and punches are usually loaded with sugar. Consuming a lot of alcohol can also lead to having less control over the food choices that we make and lead to needless snacking. Enjoy one holiday drink…then opt for lower calorie drinks, or even better…sparkling water. Tip #3 - Don’t deprive yourself. Don’t deprive yourself - but don’t over indulge. Living a healthy lifestyle is about balance, and I certainly am not one to say don’t eat the treats…I personally would be miserable if I did not get to partake in my holiday faves. However, it does mean being aware of what you are eating. Have a cookie that you love….not 10. Enjoy a small serving of your favorite dips…not a huge scoop. Allow yourself to have a little of everything, but do not overindulge. Tip #4 Bring something healthy. Bring something healthy like a veggie tray. Bringing a healthy dish is the best way to ensure there will be healthy snacks that you can munch on throughout the evening. My favorite is a veggie tray…load it up with celery, carrots, and bell peppers. All things that are easy to eat, delicious, and can replace you grabbing handfuls of chips Tip #5 Watch the condiments. This is a big one. There are so many hidden calories in condiments. They usually are loaded with fat and sugar. Be sure to limit the dressings and the dips. Especially if it looks creamy. Tip #6 Stand away from the buffet table. If you are like me, you are a social eater and standing, chatting next to the buffet table only leads to piling food onto your plate, and into your mouth mindlessly, while you catch up. Instead, fill your plate once...then walk away from the buffet table while you enjoy catching up with your family and friends. I hope that these 6 tips are helpful! These are the rules that I follow for myself during all the fun holiday festivities. Remember, living a healthy lifestyle is not about deprivation. It is about living a balanced and healthy life that you love and enjoy. Enjoying food, family, and friends is all part of that for me. It is about balance. Also, do not criticize yourself if you do overindulge…it can happen, but the worst thing you can do is be hard on yourself for doing it. Recognize that you could do better and commit to doing better the next time. Just get right back on track. Enjoy this special time of year!


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