Prepare for holiday parties
The first thing to watch is your alcohol consumption, because drinking too much may lead you to make decisions that you regret later. This of course extends beyond making poor food decisions… but we won’t go down that path! Decide ahead of time how many and what kind of drinks you’ll have (if any at all), and stick with that decision.
Focus on socializing with your friends or co-workers, ideally away from the food table. If your party is a dinner engagement, then follow the advice in Part I, which talks about strategies for holiday meals.
Just like at a holiday meal, don’t go to the party starving. Eat some yogurt, almonds, and/or an apple ahead of time. That will help you summon the willpower to pass over the high-fat, high-calorie food items. Instead, choose healthier options like fruit kabobs, chicken satay, and fresh veggies. If you see something that looks really delicious and is homemade, have a small portion and enjoy it. What if it wasn’t as good as it looked? Toss it! It’s not worth the calories.
Know what to do with holiday goodies
Chances are you will have co-workers, neighbors, and friends who will bring you all sorts of decadent treats over the holidays. Having homemade biscotti, cookies, and candy placed in your hand will require you to summon up all the willpower you have! So, how you do you handle this kind of temptation? Well, first of all, you need to assess if the treat in your possession is really worth the calories… If you are going to have a splurge, would it be on the cookies in that tin? Or would it be on something you would enjoy a lot more? If those cookies aren’t ALL that, then have your spouse bring them to work. Or have your kids invite a bunch of friends over and let devour them! You could also bring them to a homeless person on one of the street corners. Worst case, you can dump them in the trash (and perhaps pour some water on them if you are inclined to go dumpster diving). It’s important to get them out of the house in a moment of strength, so you won’t eat them in a moment of weakness later on.
Now, what if those treats your friend brought over ARE truly delicious and worth the calories? Then you should have at least one or two, because depriving yourself is never a good idea. Should you have the whole tin? No, that would really not be healthy or good for your “No Gain Holiday” plan. So, set aside a couple of your special holiday treats and use the above advice to get rid of the rest. Make sure to eat it sitting down, eat slowly, and enjoy it thoroughly.