Many websites and magazine articles offer ideas about how to lose weight over the holidays, but Connie Diekman, director of university nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis, says that people need to realize that weight loss during this time generally isn’t realistic. Diekman is past president of the American Dietetic Association.
“Parties are meant to be enjoyed,” Diekman says, adding that a little advance planning can ensure that, while people may not actually lose weight, they can keep weight gain in check.
She offers the following holiday party tips:
- Have a plan for the party (which foods do you want to eat and which can you do without).
- Don’t go to parties hungry (hunger always leads to overeating).
- Upon arrival at the party, visit with people, enjoy a beverage, scope out the offerings, then choose a few items you really want to try vs. sampling items throughout the event.
- Try sparkling water or club soda with a twist instead of alcohol or enjoy in-between alcoholic drinks.
- Don’t stand by the food table – you’ll be tempted to continue snacking as you visit with people.
- Fill your plate with high-fiber, low-calorie choices and smaller portions of the high-calorie favorites.
- Holidays mean compromise – enjoy your favorites in small portions.
- At sit-down dinners, eat slowly, savor the food and you may not find yourself wanting seconds.
- Remember, holiday parties are about fun and catching up with friends; food isn’t first.
- If things don’t go as you planned, keep in mind the holiday season is only four weeks; how are you doing the other 48?