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Enjoying the Christmas Parties- The Healthy Way


Do not let the holiday season sweep you up and cause you to lose sight of your weight goals. As I tell my clients, you can enjoy the holidays and still keep your weight stable without gaining those 10 pounds that you will regret next year.  You need to first have a plan especially now when you may have several parties to attend day after day or even several in one day.

Healthy Holiday Rule number one is Don’t arrive at your party too hungry. If not, you are setting yourself up to fail where you will inevitably overeat.  Have a substantial lunch, not just a bowl of soup or salad that will include at least 4-6 oz. of protein and a cup of veggies. Skip the breads which you certainly will have at the party.  How about tuna stuffed in a tomato or an egg white omelet with diced ham and veggies?  Remember you want to enjoy the party, not leave too full, ending up tossing and turning all night and waking up tired and grumpy to only repeat it again the next day.

Of course you want to enjoy the specialty items such as an eggnog, fancy hor’duerves, homemade goodies and more. You must be very selective when you arrive at the party. I advise first walking around and looking at all the offerings and then decide how to proceed.  Don’t eat lots of chips, cheese and bread that you can have everyday. These foods fill you up very quickly and make big stomachs.  Select the pearls such as stuffed mushrooms, crab cakes and all the creative appetizers that you absolutely love. Skip the dips which are always high fat and usually not worth it. Possibly wait for the great tri tip or even creme brulee. Do not get filled up on appetizers unless you decide that they will be your dinner because you are not crazy about the baked ham and scalloped potatoes to come.

If you are asked to bring a dish then by all means bring one that will help you through this event. Always great to bring shrimp cocktail or skewered shrimp or roasted veggies, grilled asparagus with a balsamic glaze or even a fruit salad. These items will definitely help balance your meal especially when the offerings are often mainly starch and meat laden.

Did you realize that the more food you eat the more alcohol you drink? So by scaling back on the amounts of food you eat your alcohol consumption should drop in half.  I tell my clients it would be a great success if they would keep to two drinks at an event.  Hard liquors such as vodka and gin have half the amount of calories as your tall goblets of wine so a light cranberry juice mixed in can do the trick.

I often tell my clients during social eating to “work the room”. Take one plate of food from the buffet and then instead of going back for more food visit with all the friends and make it a point to talk with every guest.

Also, while you are talking to each guest watch how often people go back to the buffet and stuff themselves. Watch those men and women that are in shape and see what they are eating. That is always quite an eye opener.

Please make time for your exercise program. You can burn off between 300 and 500 calories of intense exercise in one hour.  Also, arrive fashionably late if necessary. Just think what that can allow you at your next party – definitely a few appetizers and a couple of holiday cookies.

I often counsel my clients during the holiday season by phone or email.  We speak often where I try to “hold their hand” through holiday parties. They usually give me some idea of what will be served and we role play the event starting from the beginning of the day up until the feast. It gives them a sense of confidence to attend the party with a plan in mind.  It is a constant thrill for me to hear how compared to past years they have been able to sail through parties with even more enjoyment without overeating.  Feel free to call me to discuss your upcoming party so we can put together a plan.

I am glad to inform that nutritional counseling can be covered by your insurance. Please feel free to call meat (925) 855-0150 or e-mail me at and tell me about your nutritional concerns. Refer to my website for past articles, recipes and nutrition tips in blog section.