We're halfway through the holidays — also known as "diet sabotage season." Between office potlucks, group holiday parties and multiple-course dinners, it can be difficult to stick to your healthy intentions and navigate what to eat. For most people, there's one major hurdle left: the New Year's Eve party.
Pick Your Vice
Decide ahead of time on the one item you really want. Dessert? A sweet cocktail? That fancy appetizer you had last year and have been dreaming about ever since? While keeping the rest of the night on the healthier side, allow yourself to have a satisfying amount of that one food you're really craving. Then, eat it slowly and savor it.
Nosh Up Before the Night
Have a small snack about one hour before party time to curb excessive hunger. When we are overly hungry, it can be difficult to control portions and make good food choices. Try a snack that contains both protein and fiber, such as a tablespoon of peanut butter on whole-wheat toast or a small bowl of cereal and milk.
Lead the Way
The best thing about potluck meals is that you can bring your own healthy dish — allowing yourself the power to control what you eat. Everyone appreciates a dish that's a little lighter in the midst of the all the dense, high-calorie items.
If your party is at a restaurant, no problem! Try to order first so that you're not influenced by others' less healthy choices. Plus, if your order helps other guests follow suit and eat more healthfully, they'll luck out, too.
Sip That H2O
As simple as it sounds, drink water! Thirst often feels like hunger, which can lead to unnecessary overeating. Make sure to drink plenty of water both during and after the meal. If you think you might be hungry once you've finished eating, try drinking water first to determine if you're truly hungry for that extra serving.
Enjoy and Get Back on Track
The holidays aren't a time to sit around munching on lettuce, but also aren't fun when feeling too full. Strive for somewhere in between. Remember, holidays are about so much more than food. Enjoy the time with family and friends without making food the focus of the event. If you feel like your diet slips, don't get down. Instead, make a mental note of what happened so you can easily get back on track the next time.