You’ve been really focused on eating nutritiously and training regularly, your weight is finally shifting in the right direction and then, boom!!! You’ve been invited to 6 Christmas parties and you know they will include your favourite sparkling cocktails, sumptuous desserts and all sorts of dreamy deliciousness that you cannot refuse… What do you do?!
Firstly, congratulations on making healthy changes to your life. You should be proud! It’s certainly not an easy thing to do. But let me put this forward, if your life is now so restrictive that you need to avoid social engagements, dinner parties and celebrations, then is that the life you really want to live?
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not wise to drink alcohol regularly or revert back to those stodgy meals that made you unhealthy or uncomfortable to start with… but rather, take a look at what you are doing consistently and focus on that. If the majority of your week is nutritious, you certainly have room to go to your parties.
So, as you RSVP ‘yes’ to your invitations, take a moment to read some of these tips for the dinner party ahead.
DRINKS – decide before you arrive how many drinks you are going to have and commit to that. Alternate one alcoholic beverage with a sparkling mineral water to remain hydrated and to avoid drinking too much. If you don’t want to drink, offer to be the designated driver.
AVOID THE NIBBLES – if the room is laden with crisps, lollies and salted nuts, avoid delving into those moreish little bowls and wait for actual meal instead.
PERFECT YOUR PORTIONS – load up ½ your plate with salad or steamed vege, have a palm sized serve of protein (meat) and no more than a scoop of carbs (yes, you can have a little of that desired potato bake). Perhaps offer to bring a salad so you know that you can have half of that on your plate.
SLOW DOWN – there is no need to inhale your meal. Time to start savouring what you eat. Put your cutlery down between bites, sip water and chat to the other guests. It takes 20 mins to register fullness, so take your time!
SAVOUR THE DECADENT – whether you’re a cheese lover or a cake lover, the indulgences that come with special occasions need to be savoured and enjoyed. Have a little and eat those delicious morsels with mindfulness and pleasure.
PLAN AHEAD – make sure that special occasions like dinner parties are noted on your calendar. Remind yourself that your special night is coming up, so be consistent with your healthy eating and training in the lead up to the event.
A wise friend of mine regularly says, “Food is more than the nutrients it contains”. Which simply means that food is also there to be savoured and enjoyed. Remember, you’re never going to get lean by eating ONE healthy meal each week, in the same way that you’re not going to slide ‘out of control’ if you have one indulgent meal each week. Get the idea? CONSISTENCY IS KING.
So, do not shun the invitations, rather attend with a plan and live a nutritious week leading up to the events… and enjoy. No guilt allowed.