If you’re like me, your month is already packed with holiday parties and visits from friends and family. December is the most social time of year. Even though strong social ties are beneficial to good health, unhealthy habits like stressing out or overindulging in food and drinks over the holidays can negate the health benefits of socializing. Here are a few tips to help you stay healthy on the holiday party circuit:
- Pre-game with protein and fiber. Although pre-game usually refers to drinking before heading out to an event, here I’m referring to food. Try eating a light meal before heading out to a holiday party. This will ensure that you will be less likely to dig in when the dessert plate is passed around because you will arrive at the party feeling full and satisfied. Make sure that your pre-game meal is low in processed carbs and high in protein and fiber. Protein and fiber are slow to digest, meaning that they stay in your stomach longer. This will also prevent you from absorbing alcohol into your bloodstream too fast.
- Choose your hors d’oeuvres wisely. Stick to hors d’oeuvres that are meat- or vegetable-based. Stay away from sweets, puff pastries, crackers and bread-based snacks.
- Try to sneak in a workout before heading out to your holiday party. Doing so can help put you in the right frame of mind, one focused on health.
- Only snack on your favorite treats. Skip the snacks that you can live without. Why spend the calories on something that you don’t absolutely love?
- Stay hydrated by forcing yourself to drink water on a schedule. Drinking water can be boring in between tasty bites of lobster and sips of champagne. But staying hydrated is critical if you want to wake up energized the next morning. Try drinking two glasses of water before the party, two during and two right before bed to ensure that you wake up feeling good.
- Have a good attitude. The holidays can be very stressful. The most important thing that you can do at this time of year is to relax and have fun. So what if you are late to the party or forgot a hostess gift? Grab a lobster roll, give your coworkers a pat on the pack and let yourself unwind for once.
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