We have certainly arrived at the busy end of the year. It can be such a fun time with every weekend (and many weekdays) filled up with Christmas parties and end of year catch-ups, however it can be a minefield of excess and over-consumption. Today Rethink Nutrition brings you 5 tips for navigating the end of year festivities, and avoiding the snack table is not one of them.
- Eat well at home
One of the easiest ways to keep Christmas excess under control is to maintain great habits outside of the actual parties. Remember that when you eat well most of the time, a bit of party food is no big deal. On days when you have an event to attend, include plenty of vegetables and salads in your other meals, drink plenty of water during the day, and keep any snacks simple and healthy.
- Bring a (healthy) plate
If you are going to a gathering where bringing a plate to share is either expected or appropriate, bring a dish that you know is both healthy and delicious. In general, most people are relieved when there are some healthy options on offer. You could try a new salad recipe, bring marinated vegetable kebabs for the BBQ, or a fruit and nut nibbles platter.
- Mindfully and fully enjoy a treat
Often at social events, mindful eating can go out the window. Your attention is drawn in so many different directions, and it can be hard to truly savour and enjoy the delicious food you are eating. Typical examples might be that you are focusing hard on a conversation and you don't even remember tasting something, or the food might be messy to eat standing up so you just shovel it all in at once (mini bruschetta anyone?). If you can remember - sit down, eat slowly taking small bites and really focus in on enjoying each mouthful.
- Exercise your right to say no thank you
You're at a party and someone comes up to the group of people you are talking to and presents a plate of food. You don't really feel like a spinach and feta triangle at that particular moment but, well, everyone else took one and the host made them himself, so you take one anyway. Does that sound familiar? Remember that you don't have to eat everything that is offered or everytime food is offered. Don't eat out of obligation, a polite "not for me, thank you" is perfectly ok.
- Get involved in other party activities
Have a twirl around the dance floor and join in with the back yard cricket. Have fun and remember that there's more to socialising than just the food. It's hard to avoid mindless eating if you are stuck next to the food table all night. Memorable moments are more likely to happen if you're involved and having fun!
Do you have any tips for the holiday season that don't involve depriving yourself? Share them below in the comments.