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Tis the season…holiday party season that is. I love this time of year and all the fun and festivities surrounding it. For someone trying to eat healthy though it can present a daunting challenge. Parties = party food. Concoctions and creations of sweet and savory delight, but all out of the realm of normal eating.

I’ve been reading a lot of articles about the subject on blogs and websites recently. Here are my favorite tips for staying on track as 2012 comes to a close.

Eat Before You Go

In order to avoid over-doing it on the party snacks, each a light meal before leaving home. By doing so you’ll be full of good-for-you food and less tempted to dive headfirst into the buffalo chicken dip. 021

If I have plans at 7pm for example, I’ll make it a point to eat dinner ahead of time and then promise myself dessert once I get to the party. That way I’m not depriving myself of holiday treats, but not overdoing it either.

Bring Your Own

This is a strategy I started doing this past year at work but it applies here too. If you’re concerned about a lack of healthy options at the party then bring along a healthy snack to share.

I most often bring some kind of fruit, because I love it and find most people do too. I did get fancy for a party last year and make these fun appetizers courtesy of the one and only Martha Stewart.wd101250_spr05_veglg_xl

They were so easy: a whole wheat baguette, sliced and hollowed, filled with a greek yogurt ranch dipping sauce. Simple, healthy, and aesthetically pleasing.

Skip/Limit the Cocktails

All too often people forget about the calories in the beverages they drink. A few cocktails chatting with friends over appetizers, a glass of wine at dinner and eggnog for dessert will set you back almost 900 calories! Yikes!

Eggnog Punch

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Be cognizant of what exactly you are drinking and try not to over-do it. Aim to drink a glass of water in between each cocktail. Not only will it prevent mindless sipping on calorie laden beverages but it will keep you nice and hydrated.

Personally, I’m not a big liquor drinker so at parties I stick to a glass of wine and leave it at that. Other times I skip on the alcohol altogether. A glass of club soda with lime is fine by me. 123

Stay Active

As the weather turns colder the more enticing it is to stay curled up on the couch in your pajamas. However staying active and maintaining the routines and good habits you have established for yourself over the course of the year is key. Not only will you feel better physically, but mentally too.

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Be careful though to use your workouts as a motivator, not an excuse. When faced with a delicious pile of cookies at the party think to yourself, “do I really want to undo the weeks of hard work I have put in?” instead of, “I already worked out today so I can have a cookie…or two…or ten.”

Tomorrow’s A New Day

So maybe you had a few cocktails and enjoyed those ten cookies. It’s not the end of the world. Tomorrow is a new day and a chance to get back on track.

 

QUESTION OF THE DAY: What’s your favorite tip for a healthy holiday season?

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