From holiday parties to events year-round, these tips are sure to help throughout the party season.
The holidays are a time to enjoy with family and friends–and to stay focused on your goals. But let’s face it, with most major holidays and celebrations come added temptations, often in the form of cookies, cakes, specialty drinks, and other carb-rich items. Whether it’s because that temptation is right in front of you or because someone pushes it on you, be prepared with tactics to help you make the best choices to thrive, not just survive, this holiday season!
Remind yourself of your progress and keep your health goals in mind. These can be powerful motivators in the face of temptation.
#2. Tap into your support system.
We all need support and there’s no shame in asking for it! Remind others of your success and your goals. Ask your family and friends ahead of time to think about how much your health has improved, and request that they not offer or pressure you to eat things that may set you back. Consider also sharing with them how carbs make you feel, both mentally and physically.
#3. Think ahead.
What are the potential triggers or temptations? Thinking about them ahead of time makes you better prepared to face them and successfully avoid those temptations.
#4. Simply be prepared.
Eat before you go to a holiday party—never show up hungry. And bring your own low carb dish (perhaps a substitute for a traditional favorite) so you know you’ll have something there you can enjoy!
#5. Set your sights on maintaining (rather than losing).
Be realistic and set a goal that you can achieve during the holidays. Maybe you don’t need to focus on losing another 5 lbs. What about maintaining your success? It’s a subtle mindset shift that can make a big difference.
Party Hacks—successfully navigate any party
#6. Focus on what you CAN have.
Look for the tasty, low carb options and focus on these rather than identifying all of the things that you should avoid. Okay, so there are scalloped potatoes on the table, but look at those delicious-looking deviled eggs. Change your mindset and make the best selections from what is available.
#7. Stop and think.
Before giving into temptation—take a minute to think about it. Easier said than done, but try it. If you stop and think for a just minute to ask yourself why you want it, you may realize it’s just not worth it. In that minute, remind yourself what you gain by skipping the sugar.
#8. Socialize instead of snacking.
Hang out where the food isn’t and seek out great conversations. During parties, most of the foods are usually located in the kitchen or dining room. Stick to areas where snacks are out of arm’s reach so you’re not tempted to mindlessly munch.
#9. Skip it! Especially if you’re not sure what it is.
Sauces and condiments are among the biggest sneaky sugar culprits. If you don’t know what’s in it, just skip it.
#10. Be confident and casual in your response and try a simple ‘No thank you.’
If offered a tray of desserts, a great answer is ‘no thank you, but I would love more of that delicious dip’ or ‘I’d actually love a glass of water or champagne please.’ People often just want to be good hosts or hostesses—so let them. And be confident and casual in your response. It takes practice but you’ll notice that others will be more on board with your decisions when you are.
#11. Keep your hands busy.
Always have something in your hands to minimize the temptation of repeatedly grabbing for more food. Carry a plate with a few slices of cheese or hold onto a sugar-free drink or a low carb alcoholic beverage.
#12. Make the best decision at the moment, even if it’s not the perfect one.
Loading your plate with an assortment of meats and cheeses, even if this means eating a bit too much protein, is a better choice than having that cupcake.
#13. Have a low carb dessert, even if it means waiting until you get home.
You can always take a dessert with you. But if there’s just not time and there are no desserts available, remember you can have a piece of dark chocolate or other low carb dessert when you get home.
#14. Have a drink (or two) if you want it.
Drier wines like these, champagne and spirits are fine (skip the sugary mixers). Just remember that going a little overboard on alcohol can lower your inhibitions and increase the chance that you may say yes to those sugary desserts.
#15. Have fun!
This one is the MOST important. The holidays are about friends, family, and festive fun, so enjoy them.
Wine swap? No problem!Look for dry white or red wines, or even some bubbly. Here’s a tip on finding the drier varieties: look for an A.B.V. of 12% or more, which means the sugar content is lower because more has fermented into alcohol. *Ports, sherries, and madieras are an exceptions to this rule–these contain added sugar.
And a few more traditions...
A simple alternative for a holiday classic - spiced or sweet.