As if holiday foods were not enough to encourage weight gain, think about having unlimited access to these foods at a buffet. When there is no monetary reason for having a smaller portion, the flood gates open up and you fill your plate to the brim, with not an inch available for another bite.
We spoke with Stacey Morgenstern and Carey Peters, healthy living experts and founders of the Health Coach Institute, about healthy holiday tips to prevent you from overdoing it when the buffet is tempting you. Before you head to the party, make sure that you are mentally prepared. “If you’re at a dinner party where the buffet is unavoidable, try to load your plate up with colorful produce, salads with dressing on the side, and fill only 20 percent of the plate with treats and indulgences,” Morgenstern and Peters suggested. “This will allow you to stay healthy without feeling restricted.”
If the party is later in the evening, eat something clean before arriving. Morgenstern and Peters suggested eating a piece of grilled chicken or salmon with roasted vegetables. That way you will not run for the buffet the second you walk through the door. If food is not your problem, be aware of how much alcohol you are drinking. “Follow the one to one rule when it comes to drinking,” they said. “For every alcoholic beverage you have, follow it with a glass of water — still or sparkling are both fine. This will slow down your rate of consumption without leaving you feeling awkward with nothing in your hands. Then, during the last hour or so of the party, switch to water completely. Your head will thank you in the morning!”
Sometimes the buffets are unavoidable so if you do splurge, wake up the next day and move forward. “Forgive yourself and begin again,” they said. “Hanging onto the guilt won’t do anything for your mental or physical health, and will likely serve only to leave you in a ‘Grinchy’ mood!”