Surviving A Holiday Party

3 Tips on How To Handle a Holiday Party

We understand how the holiday season can challenge your willpower and commitment to your goals, especially when there can be more social gatherings and holiday parties with food, drinks and fun to be had! So often we speak with people about how great they were doing with consistency in their nutrition and fitness, but the holidays come around and they figure they'll just pick those “good” habits up after the new year.

Just because the holidays are here doesn’t mean you have to compromise on your goals OR your fun - you CAN have both! Here are some tips we've shared with our Street Parking members on how you can approach holiday parties when it comes to all the delicious food:

1. Don't Show Up Hungry!

Be intentional with eating nourishing meals throughout the day PRE- party/gathering, so you don’t show up and eat everything in sight. Most people tend to under-eat throughout the day, knowing they will be eating and drinking that evening, but stepping foot inside a holiday party when you are famished is a recipe for disaster!  

What could you eat before the party? Aim for a good amount of protein and vegetables, like some chicken thighs and roasted green beans. Since it's often hard to find protein and veggies at a holiday party, try to get those in earlier in the day. Plus, consuming these foods rich in protein and fiber will allow you to feel full for longer! 

2. What To Eat And How To Approach Your Meal

In general, you can assume the foods at the party were cooked in butter and oils, so your fats are covered. Find a decent protein/carb option and load up on the veggies if you find some!

  • Have a plan before you arrive with what you want to get out of the night. That way, when you follow through with what you said you would do, you feel more accomplished and build more confidence. For example, you may decide to have 2 drinks and none of the sugary treats.
  • Try the One Plate Approach. This approach is where you load up one plate of what you want to eat. Fit whatever you want on it, but when your plate is empty, you are done eating, and you don't go back for seconds. It is probably a good idea to err on the side of a smaller plate for this.
  • Try setting down your fork between bites. You might realize you are full when you slow down and actually chew your food. 
  • To help with the urge for mindless snacking, pop a breath mint in your mouth when you're done eating. 
  • Have a glass of water in between any drink or snack you consume. Often we feel hungry if we are thirsty, so addressing hydration can help reduce the amount you may consume.

3. Indulge! What?

Whatever you decide you're going to have for the night, ENJOY IT and then move on. Your whole nutrition plan isn't thrown out the window because you had a holiday cookie or glass of wine. If you end up going for it and eating all the treats and food - so what!?! Wake up the next day, drink plenty of water, and get back on track with your nutrition! Don't waste your mental energy beating yourself up or sabotage yourself by under-eating to try to undo anything.

We stress having balance and being REAL in life! Whether it's getting in 20 minutes of fitness during busy days or enjoying a fun holiday party without guilt, you CAN do this.

What About Alcohol?

Many of us love a nice glass of wine, mixed drink, or beer on occasion. That drink can be an enjoyable part of a meal out, a night in, or at a holiday gathering. We know alcohol can make us “feel” good, but it can also cause a ripple effect on sleep, recovery, and energy the next day (hello, hangover). We aren't here to tell you how much to drink, but here are a few tips you can try on approaching the holidays and navigating alcohol. 

  • Faux-tail can save the day! If you want to skip the holiday drinks, try getting a festive drink without the booze, or opt for a soda water and lime to help you mingle without feeling pressure.
  • Offer to be the designated driver to the party. That way, you remove the option to drink. 
  • Set an alcohol budget. Only take a fixed amount of money to spend on alcohol.
  • Avoid buying it/having it in the house. Instead, save your drinks only when you go out! 
  • Set a LIMIT on the number of drinks you will have for the night or even throughout the weekend. Once you hit that limit, you are out of drinks.
  • For every drink you consume, have 1-2 glasses of water. This strategy will help to slow down the number of alcoholic beverages you consume and help with dehydration. 

Try one of these approaches at your next holiday party or night out with friends and see what works well for you to feel successful.