If you’ve packed on a few extra pounds this holiday season, don’t despair. This weekend you may find yourself attending the last of the holiday parties or some pre-New Year’s celebrations. With some proper planning, you can still have a fantastic time this New Year’s Eve without adding any additional weight to lose next year.
Eat the day of the party. Don’t starve yourself all day because you are planning on binging that night. Eat breakfast that morning and include some protein. Protein will help you to feel full longer; low-fat yogurt and cottage cheese are great protein breakfast options. Have small, healthy meals during the rest of the day. Not only will this help your metabolism, but you will make better choices if you aren’t starving.
Exercise the morning of the party. It will give you more energy throughout the day and help you deal with stress. Plus, if you get it done first thing, nothing will get in your way. If you are visiting family or friends find exercise that includes them. You can take walks, play Wii, go on a bike ride, go sledding, or, if you’re lucky, go skiing or snowboarding. If you are on vacation in a new place, go exploring on foot. You’ll be having fun, making memories and getting some extra activity in before your big party that night.
Bring a dish. If you are asked to bring something, make it something healthy. This will ensure you have at least one good-for-you option to choose from.
Drink plenty of water. Dehydration can lead to feeling hungry. Drink water throughout the day leading up to the party and, at the party, Have a glass of water before you have a holiday treat or cocktail. Water will reduce cravings and help you stay full longer.
All things in moderation. If you find yourself staring down a table full of treats you just have to try, go ahead, just take one small taste of each thing.
Say no to soda. Soda is nothing more than empty calories and sugar. Why waste any of your calories on soda when you can have a delicious treat instead?
Keep your balance. Don’t be too hard on yourself. This is the holidays after all and the point is to have fun. Don’t miss out on a fabulous evening because you are so worried about your weight. Keep a balance and do everything in moderation and you’ll be fine.
Do something nice for yourself. Get your hair done or buy a new outfit for the party. Low self-esteem and anxiety can cause overeating. If you walk into that party knowing you look great, you’re less likely to snack your way into feeling even worse. Stress can also lead to overeating (and eating more fatty foods). Cortisol is a hormone released during stressful times, the combination of cortisol and insulin can make your body store fat to guard against possible starvation. So don’t beat yourself up. Remember, parties are supposed to be fun!
Celebrating with a drink. Many of us are going to have a drink or two this New Year’s Eve. While alcohol is known for being high in calories, some drinks are better than others. If you are going to have a mixed drink make your mixer low-cal, try tonic water, lemon juice, lime juice or diet soda. If you want to mix with orange juice or cranberry juice, see if you can use the “light” version. Just to give you an idea, an 8 oz rum and coke is about 185 calories, while an 8 oz rum and diet coke is 100.
Here are the caloric breakdowns for some basic drink choices and a few holiday favorites:
Wine (5 oz) – 120 calories
Wine spritzer (5 oz) – 100 calories
Mulled wine (5 oz) – 150 calories
Port wine (5 oz) – 235 calories
Champagne (5 oz) – 125
Mimosa (5 oz) – 95
Beer (12 oz) – 150-198
Light beer (12 oz) – 95 – 136
Spiced cider with rum ( 8 oz) – 150
Hot Toddy (8 oz) – 113
Godiva chocolate liqueur (3 oz) – 310
Eggnog with rum (8 ounces) – 370
Hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps (8 oz) – 380
Hot buttered rum (8 oz) – 292