As the festive period approaches, there are a plethora of exciting occasions to attend, as well as a range of pleasures to be experienced – but it is also important to be mindful of the temptations that arise during this time. Maintaining the nutritious eating habits you have been putting so much effort into can be challenging.
You may be asking yourself:
- Will there be anything I can eat there?
- Will I re-gain some of the weight I’ve worked so hard to lose?
- Will I offend the hosts if I say something about my needs?
This holiday season is a wonderful occasion to take a moment to appreciate the good fortune of having friends and family who provide love and support. They are very important to you and you could not envision existing without them. Now, all those good fortune are traveling to your place to commemorate!
If you’re hosting a party during the holidays, you want to serve something tasty to all your guests without causing them to gain unnecessary weight.
It doesn’t require a specialist to understand that consuming fruits, greens, and lean proteins is preferable to eating food items full of fats and carbs. You already know that.
But, certain gatherings wouldn’t be the same without Aunt Mae’s renowned apple pie, or that delicious ham that grandpa always presents as the main dish. Indulging a little during the holidays is no crime!
We all think it. We all worry about being a burden. But you don’t have to. We will be providing you with some beneficial advice to make your meetings an enjoyable experience instead of something to be anxious about!
1. Start With the Basics
Ponder to yourself, “Am I truly interested in going to this gathering?”
Only attend the events you know you will enjoy. The more negative your feelings are, the more likely you are to succumb to temptation. If you are forced to go somewhere against your will it will have a negative impact on your strength of character and opinion of yourself, potentially causing you to be more susceptible to harmful temptations.
Are you going to a social event? There will be people close to you who are there to give you assistance. You are concerned about conversing with the host or hostess. That feeling is perfectly normal.
Don’t be anxious; have a chat with them. Inform them of all the adjustments that you are making to your lifestyle, and how they are having an impact on you. Explain the extent to which these alterations have influenced your life and the significance they hold for you. Discuss the challenges you have begun to face head-on with your new healthy lifestyle.
Believe me, when they witness the beneficial effects resulting from your good lifestyle choices, they will be willing to assist you in any way possible.
Proceed to discuss the food. Let them be aware of your wish to stay focused and you would even offer to contribute some nutritious alternatives. You’ll probably be surprised how supportive they will be.
If you are bringing a healthy option or a backup snack, some easy healthy snack options for parties include:
- High protein Greek yogurt savory dip (made with onion or vegetable soup mix or other herbs and spices) with veggies
- High protein Greek yogurt dip with fruit
- A cheese and fruit plate
- A deli meat and veggie plate
- A plate with shrimp and cocktail sauce with veggies
2. Fruits and Vegetables First
You don’t need to remove all of your favorite indulgent treats from the serving table.
If you place fruits and vegetables at the beginning of a buffet, your guests should be more likely to fill their plate with healthy foods before they run out of room.
Kaela Ketcham, a clinical dietitian from OSF HealthCare located in Peoria, suggested that having the healthy items at the end of the meal would cause people to skip over them because their plates are already full. You should encourage people to include fiber in their diet during the holidays so they can feel fuller while consuming less calories.
If you are serving food rather than having a buffet, give out the vegetables first so that each individual has room to put them on the plate.
3. Serve a Meal at a Typical Meal Time
On holidays, individuals may plan a late lunchtime around 2 p.m. or an early supper at 4 p.m.
Aim to dish up lunch around midday and supper at approximately 5 or 6 o’clock to aid you and your attendees to stick to a habitual eating plan. If you are planning to eat lunch later than usual, provide a nutritious snack at midday so your visitors don’t arrive overly hungry and thus less prone to gorging.
4. When it comes to vegetables, have a variety of color
A range of hues is sure to captivate your visitors and draw their attention.
If you only serve a pot of green salad, it is unlikely that anyone would be interested. Creating a veggie tray containing various colors (such as greens, reds, oranges and yellows) can be quite attractive and will likely draw more attention than merely a bowl of carrots.
5. Vegetables Can be Part of the Décor
Create an artistic design out of your vegetable platter by arranging the items to form something entertaining, such as a turkey for Thanksgiving or a wreath made of broccoli and cherry tomatoes resembling holly.
Make your veggie tray look so fun and delicious people will want to talk about it. Your veggie tray can take a starring role on the table, and who wouldn’t want to boast they had a bite of the holly from the wreath or that they ate the turkey’s beak? Making eating healthy an enjoyable experience for kids can spur them to embrace a nutritious diet.
6. Setup a Flavored Water Station
Set up a station where a variety of flavored water is available, featuring things like bubbly versions and waters that are flavored with all-natural ingredients like cucumbers. This offers a wholesome refreshment choice to alcoholic drinks and can help curb your visitors’ appetite.
Many people confuse thirst for hunger, so if you keep your guests hydrated, it is unlikely that they will mistakenly consume more food than necessary.
7. Plate Size Matters
Offer your guests a smaller plate, giving them less room to feel obligated to put excess food on their plate. Serving up 9-inch plates at U.S. get-togethers is becoming more popular and can help cut back on the amount of food your guests will dish up for themselves. These plates are now much more common than 11-inch ones.
A small increase of two inches can really increase the capacity for storing food, which would result in more calories being able to fit.
8. Use Smaller Serving Spoons
Supply utensils such as forks and spoons that are of a smaller size for both consuming and dishing out.
When it comes to food items which contain a lot of calories, like dips, gravies or sauces, it is best to offer guests teaspoons instead of tablespoons, so they can have better control over their portions.
9. Precut the Food
If serving a meal in a buffet-style manner, dice the food into bite-sized portions so it is convenient to grab. This also promotes taking smaller portions to avoid overeating.
10. Place Food Away from the Sitting Area
Having the food close by the entertainment of the event can encourage people to eat without thinking and consume more calories. Your visitors could consume more food than they planned without being aware of it.
Something that is not seen, it is not considered. Requiring people to walk into another room to find the food encourages them to be conscious of how much they are consuming. If someone is not feeling especially hungry, it is unlikely that they will go looking for food.
11. Find Out What Dishes Your Guests are Bringing
Discover beforehand what side dishes your guests will be bringing to the dinner, to determine if there are any food groups that are not accounted for. Fulfill those gaps with your own food, to create a nutritious and well-rounded meal for everyone.
12. Plan Non-Eating Activities
Bring out some entertaining activities so your visitors can mingle without dwelling on food. Organize activities like charades for the party, or come up with a present-swapping game.
Doing a physical activity right after eating can help burn calories instead of just lounging and becoming drowsy. If the weather is nice you can toss the football around outside or go for a walk. Walking after eating is good for your digestion.
13. More Courses with Smaller Portions
If you’re serving a family-style meal, divide the food into multiple short courses to make the meal last longer.
It takes a total of 20 minutes for our stomach to communicate to our brains that we’ve had enough to eat. By having different courses during the meal, it allows people’s minds to understand how hungry they still are before the subsequent course is served. After indulging in a larger quantity of the starter dish, your gathering may not be as ravenous, meaning they will likely consume fewer amounts of the higher-calorie, heavier entree and the dessert.
14. Recruit a Friend to be Your Health Buddy at the Party
Making preparations in advance is the optimal choice for the important occasion. Come up with a strategy that you can use if you feel like you may make unhealthy decisions, such as exiting the situation if the temptation is too much.
A health buddy can help tremendously. Develop a strategy with your health buddy in advance. Back one other up and be ready to support the other if any triggers start to show up, like feeling:
- Or Tired
You will be there for each other, giving both of you the assurance and emotional reinforcement necessary to make good decisions. Having an increased number of people with you will give you more confidence when requesting healthier options or declining tempting offers.
It won’t be just you. You and your health buddy make the perfect team for taking a breather during a gathering, like going for a stroll or getting some fresh air.
You could consider bringing something to do to keep your hands busy – it’s a great way to resist temptation!
Preventative Actions to Slay Temptation
These actions may appear straightforward and in fact are straightforward, however performing these straightforward duties can create amazing results. Before your event, you may wish to take advantage of these helpful hints to ensure you stay on schedule.
- Don’t arrive early or stay late if that could lead to off-plan eating, hunger, or more temptations
- Have a high protein snack before arriving
- If you don’t plan to eat at the party, brush your teeth before you arrive for a little psychological boost.
- Sip on Perrier water with lime.
Now that you have the means to relish meals with others without any concern, go out and have a good time. Develop those relationships and bonds. Excellent ones can have an immense influence on your wellbeing and life.
Remember, it’s not all about the food. Your emotional wellbeing relies heavily on the positivity, care, and assurance you generate in your day-to-day life which will help you to stay healthy and content.
Have a wonderful holiday celebration with friends and family!