5 Tips for Staying Healthy at The Christmas Party

Nutrition // Sarah Link // 3 November 2016

Terrifying but true: the average Australian adult will gain three or more kilograms over the Christmas break.

To help you stay in shape through the silly season we’re sharing our tips on staying healthy at Christmas.

1. Be selective

Invites are flying hard and fast, but don’t get caught in the whirlwind and accept every end of year party invite that comes around. There’s nothing like a boring party to have you reaching for more fatty finger foods and calorie-laden alcoholic drinks!

RSVP only to the events that are important or you are likely to enjoy and let the others go. This goes for when you’re at an event too – if you’re getting pressured by friends, family or work colleagues to “have another drink” or “have just one more mince tart”, just say thanks but no thanks!

2. Eat before you go out

Cocktail party food is generally unhealthy and unsatisfying, so eat something before you go – a salad, light meal, or even a protein shake. You won’t arrive starving and tempted to eat every nibbly in sight!

Before you leave home, decide how many (if any) canapés you plan to eat. Then stick to that limit. You won’t feel deprived and you won’t have to face any guilt from unexpected excess calories the next day.

3. Hydrate properly

Make your first drink, and at least every second one thereafter, a sparkling mineral water or something else non-alcoholic. Sip it. It’ll help keep you hydrated and off the alcohol-lined slippery slope that tends to start when you down that first drink too quickly.

If you are with a friend or partner let them know that when you ask for a Sparkling Special (or whatever code name you come up with) you are after a non-alcoholic drink. So a Sparkling Special might be a vodka, lime and soda without the vodka but that’s your little secret!

PS. This Sparkling Special trick is also a handy one if you are pregnant and not public about it!

4. Plan what you’ll order

Decide what you’re going to eat as early as possible so you aren’t put on the spot and fall back on a less healthy option.

For sit-down functions with several courses, if you can, have a look at the menu before you arrive or at least before you sit down.

With entrees and mains, ensure that your plate is made up of 25% protein, 25% low GI and/or wholegrain carbs and the remaining 50% should be salads (mind the dressing) or vegetables.

Remember, you don’t have to eat everything on your plate. Have enough to taste the dish but be aware at these kind of events there is often more food coming!

5. Stay active!

It may be one of the most hectic periods in the year but whatever you do don’t let exercise fall by the way side. Schedule a training session on the day of the function and don’t skip exercise the next day, even if it’s just a walk or toning session.

Over the holiday period when your caloric intake increases you will really notice how exercise can help keep your weight under control.

So devise some going out game plans, stick to them and you never know, in a few weeks you could leave party land in even better shape than when you entered it!

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Sara Edwards Reply

    Thanks Georgina x

    Off to a buffet xmas dinner with husband’s work so I will start with the sparkling special – nerves can have me gulping but a long sparkling special will encourage poise from the start to end of the evening – now to encourage dressing on the side at the buffet 😉

  2. Michelle Reply

    Great tips I have a big week coming up with 5 events on. I have started planning out my meals along with some strategies to help me.I need to bring a plate for a couple of them so I am going to ensure what I bring is healthy.

  3. AILSA Reply

    I am proud to say that our church family celebration yesterday was a healthy one. Our tip is let the health focused people organise the party, where possible. We had great salads, lean meats, rice paper rolls, bruschetta, paleo desserts and fruit, very little alcohol, no chocolate. I did notice our present game, some people bought chocolates because they were last minute shopping. Next years rule for present game…no chocolate! And yes, we still had a great time and walked away from an enjoyable day of food, fun, swimming and loving relationships!!

  4. AILSA Reply

    I made a comment about out recent healthy Christmas party for our Church family. I want to add to this thought that my own family cares about our health so we are the ones organising our Family Christmas gathering on Christmas Day. We have decided to do away with the pre dinner nibbles, are having lean meats and salads, cheese and fruit and a raw dessert to finnish off with. People will be bringing their own drinks. Again my tip is, wherever possible have the healthy ones organise the occasion. Teach people you can celebrate and eat great food at the same time. And feel great afterward.

  5. Jennifer Blay Reply

    Sparkling Special – what a brilliant idea! Love it 🙂
    Merry Christmas everyone

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