Yes, it’s quite possible to enjoy holiday parties or dinners without going crazy eating too many carb- and fat-laden foods.
I know this because I do it. Although people typically gain weight during the holidays, I always maintain. My blood sugar says thanks.
Here’s what helps me:
Tried and True Tips
Every year, registered dietitians offer the same advice about holiday eating:
Don’t save up calories during the day for an event – in fact, eat a snack before you go. Never come to a holiday party very hungry.
Go light on alcohol. Alcoholic drinks add a lot of calories and also lower impulse control.
Load your plate with protein and low fat veggies.
If it’s a buffet, survey everything and then take small portions of one or two of your very favorite treats.
My Twist on Standard Advice
I load my plate with protein and vegetables, but I don’t worry if the veggies have butter or sauce (I didn’t gain weight because of butter on veggies LOL.)
Instead of trying to make sure I take the one best treat, I take small servings of everything that looks good. The reason: I know if I feel deprived, I will go off the rails later.
Once I’m ready to eat, I have a system:
First, I eat a few bites of the protein and veggies.
Then I eat a bite or two of the oh-so-bad-but-oh-so-good food.
I continue this pattern until I begin to feel full. If I feel like going for seconds for splurge foods, I wait a few minutes. After eating, it takes 20 minutes to feel full and after that pause, I usually don’t want more food.
Because I am not depriving myself of anything, I have much less of an urge to overdo. I want to be like everyone else, so I am. It really works!
After the Event
Before I go, I make sure I will have something to look forward to when I get home. Knowing I will have another source of pleasure after the event reduces my need to overvalue great food.
I hope some or all of these tips are helpful!