With Christmas coming up you probably have heaps of parties to attend. But what if you’ve been working on eating healthy and exercising regularly? And doing a good job of it too! How do you attend those parties, still enjoy yourself, and stick to your health goals?
The first thing I think you need to do is acknowledge what you’ve done. If you’ve completely changed your eating and drinking habits, even if you’ve had one or two slip ups, you need to give yourself credit for this. Any change in your regular routine is tough. Of course, the longer you’ve been doing this the better, but when you attend an event like a Christmas party, it’s better if you’ve already made the change you wish to see.
...there are plenty of healthy choices that you can choose that are not only tasty, but allow you to have a fun night out
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If you haven’t been feeling good about yourself and you’ve known you’ve wanted to do something about your body, it’s best not to wait for some designated time in the future to start. When you wait for that time, those feelings of dissatisfaction continue to fester. Then when an event like a Christmas party comes up, and you overindulge, you dramatically enhance those feelings, leaving you feeling guilty, upset, and disappointed with yourself.
On the other hand, when you’ve already started, even if it’s just today, eating healthy and exercising, you can attend those parties and cut yourself some slack to eat a piece of cake and enjoy a few drinks. However, as you continue through your journey into being a healthier version of yourself, you realise there are heaps of healthy foods, and even drinks, that you can enjoy. And these make Christmas parties both fun and relatively healthy.
How to Stay Healthy at a Party
- Drink before you go out
Drink a litre of water before you venture out. This will help to fill you up and you’ll be less likely to eat and drink as much, particularly when you first arrive. The most important reason though, is that you’ll ensure you’re hydrated before the night begins.
- Eat canapés wisely
If there are canapés being passed around before dinner, choose just one … or none. Canapés are usually really high in calories and do little to fill you up. If the food for the night is only canapés, eat before you arrive and if they are being served before dinner, wait for your main course.
- Choose protein
Protein really helps to fill you up. So if you get a choice of your meal, choose a protein based dish. And if you’re worried about looking like a cannibal hunking down a big piece of steak, choose the fish. Fish is also high in omega-3 fatty acids, which is important for metabolism and has many health benefits.
- Dessert - consider where you're at
Now if you’re that person in my example who isn’t feel great about their health and haven’t done anything about it yet, I’m going to suggest you stay away from dessert, or choose the fruit. However, if you’ve started eating healthy and exercising on a regular basis, go for it — choose the crème brûlée.
- Your pour of choice
I’ve pretty much converted to this drink for every occasion now. Vodka, Lime and Soda. This is probably the healthiest alcoholic drink you can get. Vodka has 60 calories for each 30ml shot and there are no calories in soda water. It’s the best alcoholic drink you can get in terms of calories. Another low calorie option, although I’ve never tried it, is Gin and Tonic. These two drinks however, can be a bit boring. If you want something more tasty, go for a (shared) jug of Sangria or Pimms. They might be high in calories but they have all that fruit and vegetable in them so at least you’re getting some nutrients. As for beer and wine, forget about the beer and stay away from the champagne. You haven’t won the formula one so stick with dry white or red for just a couple glasses.
Healthy Foods and Snacks to Have at a Party
There are certain foods synonymous with parties. Here’s a few healthy swap suggestions:
Garlic bread —> Bruschetta
Party pies, sausage rolls & frankfurts —> Marinated chicken wings/legs
Prawn crackers —> Prawns
Chips —> Rice crackers and dip
Biscuits —> Lettuce leaves or celery sticks
Spring rolls —> Sushi
Peanuts & cashews —> Almonds, walnuts or macadamias
So whether you’ve already begun your journey to becoming the healthiest version of yourself, or not, you can see there are plenty of healthy choices that you can choose that are not only tasty, but allow you to have a fun night out. Eating healthy doesn’t have to look or feel isolating. It should in fact, be the norm. There are loads of options for socialising around food and drinks. At the end of the day, that’s where most of our socialising is done, so we might as well do it with foods and drinks that serve us well.
What's your go-to party recipe and how could you make it healthier?
Leave your answer to this question and any questions or comments you may have in the comments section below.
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