While we look forward to this festive time of year, filled with social events, seasonal cocktails and delicious hors d’oeuvres, the health conscious part of us also often dreads it; it’s kind of a love-hate relationship! The weight gain, the bloating and puffy eyes from lack of sleep and alcohol consumption- it all accompanies the fun times with friends and seasonal celebrations. Well, fear no more. There is no reason we can’t enjoy these festivities, and even indulge here and there, the trick is doing everything in moderation. Try these few simple tricks this season and you’re guaranteed to see (and feel) the difference!
Pick and Choose.
This applies to both the parties you attend as well as the treats you allow yourself. Don’t feel that you have to accept every single invitation you are extended. Pick and choose those that are important to you- close friends or family, important business colleagues, etc. By hand-picking a few, you will inevitably be on your game, more present and alert, and most importantly you will enjoy yourself more as you won’t be worn down from a long string of monotonous events and sleepless nights.
Like in an exercise regimen or diet plan, having a plan is key. Make a mental commitment to yourself before attending the party of how many drinks you will consume throughout the evening, how many hors d’oeuvres you are allowed to sample, and how late you will stay. This number will vary depending on what party it is (i.e. your best friends Christmas bash on Friday night vs. your boss’s elegant cocktail party on a Wednesday) how much you have eaten that day (is this dinner?) and so on. Be sure to consider how many parties you are attending that week also, and try to stay balanced.
Eat a proper lunch.
It is often said that we should “eat like a king for breakfast, a queen for lunch, and a peasant for dinner.” Calories consumed earlier in the day have more time to be burned off. Don’t starve yourself all day because you know you’re going to be eating tons of delicious treats and drinking lots at your party that evening. This is a dangerous mentality that can be detrimental to your ability to maintain your balance, as not only will you have little to no self-control and binge on the wrong things, but you will also get much more drunk if you don’t eat all day, resulting in an awful hangover the next day. Eat a generous, healthy lunch with lots of protein to keep you going for the rest of the day. This will give you a good base and keep you satisfied so you don’t make the wrong decisions later on (including being the drunkest person at the party)!
Eat a small healthy snack just before you leave.
Even if you’ve had a decent lunch and aren’t particularly hungry, force yourself to have a quick hit of protein and a veg before heading out to the party. (A couple of lean cold cuts and some cut up pepper or cucumber is a personal quick and easy favourite.) This type of snack is low in calories and will curb your appetite enough that you will be able to exercise self-discipline when hundreds of deliciously cheesy and breaded hors d’oeuvres are being paraded under your nose.
Apply the Rinse cycle
When there are trays of free cocktails being circulated every few minutes, it’s easy to lose track and forget to hydrate. It’s important that you make a point of chasing every drink with a glass of water. This is what we call “the rinse cycle.” The rinse cycle has several benefits, such as decreasing your level of intoxication, keeping you hydrated, and reducing hangovers. Don’t quit once you leave the party though, that full glass of water before bed is the most key part of kicking that looming hangover to the curb!
How to Survive the Inevitable Christmas Binge December 15 2014
Tis’ the season to drink and eat lots… And lots… And then some more. And then hate yourself for it after. We all have a sort of hate/love relationship with the holidays, all the cheer and festivities- so much fun, so many calories. Between the abundance of sugary cocktails and hors d’ouvres at cocktail parties, to the big ol’ turkey dinner itself, even those of us with supernatural willpower are bound to slip a little. Well we think that’s OK! It’s all about balance, which includes allowing ourselves to indulge at certain times of the year, while being super diligent at others. That being said, there are a few party tricks we’d like to share to help you stay SOMEWHAT balanced over the next couple of weeks.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
Seems simple, but don’t underestimate the power of lots of H2O to counteract bloating from all that salt you’ll inevitably consuming, and those under eye bags from lack of sleep and too much sauce (nope, not the gravy kind…)
The Rinse Cycle:
This sort of ties in to trick #1, but following each alcoholic beverage with a glass of water will help with your hangover as well as your level of intoxication (no one wants to be the girl who sat on the bosses lap and slobbered all over his tie at the Christmas party.)
Squeeze in some exercise every day:
We know- with the back to back events and hangovers to boot, hitting the gym may seem next to impossible. But even if you can squeeze in a daily power walk with a family member or friend, it will make a difference. Get some fresh air and exercise and keep your metabolism going. Bonus- a great way to get a quality hour in with someone special during all the madness!
Don’t skip meals:
A lot of people operate under the mentality that since they will be snacking at parties, they should skip dinner beforehand. This is a big NO, as you will be hungry and over eat. It’s harder to keep track of these small morsels, which seem deceivingly harmless. If you have a nice healthy (small) dinner before, you won’t go crazy on the apps. You’ll spend more time dancing, and end up consuming fewer calories throughout the night- guaranteed.
Bring a Healthy App:
Inevitably you will be paraded with an endless display of cheesy, carby, delicious appetizers at every party you attend. (Which could be 3 or 4 in one day!) So, it’s a great idea to bring along a veggie platter and some dip so you know there’s something to busy your hands with if you want to resist the temptation of the more gluttonous options.
Happy holidays from the No Sweat team to you!!!