No one loves a holiday party more than I do. The food, the festivities, the food, the food, the food.
Yep. You’re talking to a girl who’s always in the mood for food, and with the holidays on full-blast, many of us feel as though we don’t stand a chance.
It’s almost a form of torture. The endless social engagements, both “obligatory” and those you actually want to attend. Merciless. It’s difficult to survive the holidays with your health intact.
But here’s the thing to keep in mind. You don’t need to be a (rein)deer in headlights. You are actually in control. Contrary to belief, you don’t actually have to consume and imbibe everything you see. Overwhelming, I know. But, I’m with you.
Here are my ten tips to properly prepare you for the holiday Hunger Games.
How To Get Through The Holidays and New Year’s Eve With Your Health Intact
1. Never. Arrive. Hungry.
Happy Hour does not need to be Amateur Hour. Either eat dinner before or at least have a little snack prior to arrival.
Always come armed. I don’t go anywhere without a little bag of raw nuts in my clutch. Fail to prepare and prepare to fail. I won’t let you go down that easy.
2. H2O is your hero
Find a bottle or glass of water and sip it throughout the party. Refill as needed and make sure you keep it nearby all night.
Related: 5 Big Benefits Of Drinking Water
You can also alternate wine and water. Whatever works.
Just remember that water does work, and helps prevent overeating and over-imbibing. I wish I drank less water, said no one ever.
3. Be the best guest
Bring a healthy option for you (and others) to snack on, such as veggies and hummus, air-popped chips, popcorn, fruit platter, or raw nuts.
Bring options for you to munch on so you have choices. Surround yourself with only brownies, and you’ll be all frownies tomorrow morning.
4. Focus on conversation
Here’s one of my biggest tips to survive the holidays with your health intact: although there is food present, make your presence known by catching up with friends or connecting with colleagues. Divert your focus to people instead of potato chips, and you’re already on your way to backing off that binge.
5. Have a game plan
Name your price. Go in with a number of drinks that is going to be your max that night, and make them count.
Related: 7 Benefits Of Red Wine
Decide, “Ok, I’m going to have 3 glasses of wine max tonight.” Then make them count. Mindfully enjoy them to prevent pounding them down.
Remember, it doesn’t serve anyone to over-serve yourself.
6. Train your brain
Start each morning of the holiday season with a sweat session. Not only will it rev your body’s engine for the day, but it will reboot your brain to be mindful of what you consume later on.
Those who keep their fitness consistent during the holiday season tend to eat less overall.
7. Make it count
I’m all about indulging, but make sure to make it count. Generic sugar cookies purchased from the supermarket? Nah.
The homemade molasses ginger snap cookies the office receptionist made from scratch as part as her moonlighting baking business? Yah. That’s your move.
This party is not in a vacuum. It is actually part of a regular week in your life. You are not in a vortex just because people might be wearing sequins.
Visualize yourself in the morning. How will you feel about your choices. If you are on your way to guilt-city then stop while you are ahead. You came, you sampled…you’re good. Now go take another selfie with your fellow sequined-folk.
9. Cut yourself some slack
Keep in mind that the holidays are about celebrating, enjoying, and reflecting. They are not about you being hard on yourself and putting yourself in a pressure cooker.
If you just let go and stop making it “a thing”, you’d be surprised just how easy it is to enjoy the moment.
10. Eat up gratitude
The most important tip to survive the holidays with your health still strong is to be grateful for this time in your life. Once you have gratitude, everything else will fall into proper perspective.
Health, family, & friends should be the focus. Sure, food, is part of it, but it’s not the star. You are. So go enjoy…and I don’t mean enjoy that entire pumpkin pie by yourself. Enjoy this gift of life we get to share. Happy holidays!
Allison Hagendorf is a certified Health Coach, a national TV/Radio Personality, and the Official Host of Times Square NYE so undoubtedly, she knows all about making — and keeping — new year’s resolutions. Check out her site FitToFeast.com for more of her health coaching tips, and to grab one of the limited new client slots for 2015!
Photo by Francis Zuber