Holiday Hacks

Holiday parties put me in a quandary.  I love spending time with friends and family, yet the temptation of delicious food and drink tests my resolve.  Is it possible to maintain healthy eating habits, while surrounded by yummy indulgences?  Yes!  A few simple techniques allow me to satisfy my taste buds, without overdoing it.

First, I avoid going to a party hungry.  Low blood sugar makes food more enticing.  A tablespoon of almond butter, before an event, works wonders for my self-control. While it might not sound like much, at 100 calories and with a healthy dose of fat and protein, this quick bite makes it easier to skip the sugary/starchy treats.

The second strategy, is consuming plenty of water.   Hunger signals are often mistaken as  a request for food, when the body is actually signaling a need for more H2O.  So, staying hydrated can help curb appetite.  Also, sipping water during an event, keeps me from overdoing it on calorie-laden drinks.  an average glass of wine, juice or soda, has 150 calories, about as much as a candy bar.   Chasing a festive drink with a couple glasses of water, slows me down and helps keep the drink calories in check.

Finally, I keep in mind that the first bite, is by far the most delicious one.  After loading my plate with veggies, fruit, and protein, my favorite goodies are added, as a light garnish.  A dollop of guacamole with a few chips, a fork full of cake, a couple of chocolate covered almonds.  I savor a bite or two of some favorite foods, while filling up on healthy ones.

Hopefully, as this year comes to a close, I’ll have many opportunities to enjoy time with loved ones, and cherished friends.  While celebrating, I’ll work to maintain healthy eating habits, and overdose instead on good conversation, laughter and love.


Tanya Thompson is a certified personal trainer who resides in Portland, Oregon.  She specializes in functional strength and cardiovascular fitness.



1 comment
Allison December 11, 2018

Excellent advise for the holidays and for traveling on a cruise. A large glass of water before going to the buffet or the dining room can keep you from ordering too much food and then stuffing yourself to make sure you “clean your plate.” A pair of appetizers or sides can easily take the place of a heavy dinner. For the holidays, I find keeping my food from touching reduces the amount I can put on my plate. You always provide sound information.

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