`Tis the season for holiday parties, family gatherings, and don’t forget lots of great catered food.
Family and friends join together to celebrate the end of the year and the New Year that’s coming by socializing, eating, and drinking.
While the holiday season may seem like the perfect excuse to splurge on everything in sight, this is not the best choice for your overall health, or your waistline.
It is said that during the holiday season, Americans gain approximately one pound every year.
And while that may not seem like a lot, especially when you look back at how many extras pieces of pie you had just at Thanksgiving, it is suggested that most people never lose that pound over the course of the next year. Long term, that can mean many extra pounds of weight gain.
Talk about putting holiday excess into perspective.
Luckily, I am here to tell you that you can survive the holiday season’s attempt to sabotage your health by following a few simple tricks, even if the party is catered.
Let’s take a look at some of the best ways you can eat healthy and light at a catered event, while still enjoying the season’s good cheer.
The Pre-Party Plan
So you have a company party to attend to in Dulles, or maybe you are looking forward to the short travel to Vienna where Mom always hosts the family get together. Whatever the case may be, surely holiday food and drink are in store, which means you must have a plan if you want to stay on track with your eating habits.
Here are some excellent tips to follow pre-party that will set you up for success when you encounter the haven of food that will be displayed once you walk through your party host’s door.
Rest Up and Don’t Skip Meals
Getting a good night’s sleep the night before a holiday party, is the key to eating lighter at your holiday party. Aim for at least seven hours of sleep and make them count.
Men tend to have an increased appetite the day after a poor night’s sleep while women tend to feel less full even after eating entire meals. Both men and women are said to eat on average an extra 300 calories the day after a night short on sleep. The key is to get enough rest so you can stay healthy and eat light, even if Mom is pushing an extra dessert your way.
Eat normally the day of the party. If you skip your daily meals in preparation for overdoing it that evening, you will show up to the party starved and eat everything in sight, which, regrettably, is neither healthy nor light.
Wear Those Skinny Jeans
Ok, maybe not exactly skinny jeans per se, but definitely consider your holiday outfit when planning for your office holiday party, and definitely don’t wear your favorite “active wear” pants to your best friend’s ugly sweater party!
Those loose fitting clothes you love to wear to holiday party are off limits. They stretch and adjust to your growing belly as you consume more and more food, and before you know it, you are about to explode.
You want to feel some level of discomfort, even after indulging on your favorite Cafesano Roasted Turkey & Havarti Panini. It’s that discomfort that you feel that will keep you from overindulging.
The Grand Entrance
Upon arrival to the famous office party your company throws every year in the heart of McLean, or the family dinner that happens once a year that everyone always attends, take note of your surroundings.
See what the food and drink situation is, observe what everyone else is doing, and stay committed to eating light and healthy no matter what.
Research shows that your first trip to the buffet line will be the moment you consume the most food. You tend to be the hungriest at this time, the food is super fresh and perfect looking, and you want everything.
Stay away from heavy dressings on salads or fried appetizers your first go-round. If Cafesano has been delivered, try munching on hummus and veggies or some Orzo & Spinach salad before you indulge in the main course.
Go easy when adding nuts, cheese, cream sauces, gravy, and butter; these are all things that are not necessary to the meal, but can add plenty of calories to your waistline and make you feel overstuffed by night’s end.
Only indulge on your favorite holiday treats. Instead of wasting calories on foods that you can have year-round, choose something different and unique that appeals to your palate. Whether it be Cafesano’s Tzatziki dip, the Signature Salad or Marinated Chicken Kabobs, make your food choices count and make them special.
Into the Night
As the party continues and you begin to feel comfortable with your surroundings, it is easy to lose sight of what you are eating.
Check out some ways for you to stay the high road and remain healthy as the night continues.
Make Better Choices
It is okay to want to eat a little more at a holiday party than you usually might on a regular night in – that’s what the holidays are for. However, by making slightly healthier choices throughout the night, trust me, your waistline will thank you.
- Use smaller plates to avoid overloading with excess food.
- Never stack foods on top of each other. This helps with portion control.
- Take tiny bites and chew thoroughly. Eating fast will lead to over consumption making you anything but healthy and light.
- Make your plate colorful (think Cafesano’s Avocado Dip, fruit platter choices, or Grilled Chicken Pesto Panini).
- Be mindful of what you put on your plate – especially when in a large group setting where conscious decision making typically fades. Don’t let distractions make you forget how much you are consuming and cause you to mindlessly eat whatever is in front of you. Enjoy the process of smelling, tasting, and enjoying your food.
Be Helpful to Your Host
Anyone that has thrown a holiday party in their home knows that the cleanup afterwards is the worst.
When everyone is gathered around (still munching on the yummy cheese pies delivered via Cafesano’s catering), chatting and laughing the night away, why not assist your host and help with some of the cleanup.
Clean some dishes, package leftovers that will not be going home with you, or help arrange the table back to its pre-party state. Your host will love you for it and so will your health.
This will help you stay true to your plan to eat light and healthy, while still being able to enjoy the company of your friends.
Be a Kid Again
If you are not the cleanup type of person, and not many of us are, why not try focusing on other activities after the main courses have been served.
Rather than noshing on leftover Falafel or the ever-popular Baklava dessert tray, focus on your friends and family instead.
Play a game of pool, take to caroling around the old neighborhood, or go traditional and play charades.
Being active during your holiday party will not only keep things light and fun, but will keep you from constantly grabbing at foods you have already had your fill of. I know, it’s hard…catering from Cafesano is soooo good!
As the Night Winds Down, So Should You
After you have had enough food to feel satisfied, yet are not overfull and can still breathe in those snug clothes you should be wearing, pop a mint or chew some gum. This trick will help freshen your palate and curb the urge to eat more food if some is still laying out for you to enjoy.
Holiday parties are much more than just catered foods. They are a time to enjoy the cheer your co-workers, friends, or family bring to your life.
If you focus on being mindful, not overdoing it, and enjoying only the best of dishes, you will surely feel confident that while you enjoyed your evening, you kept it light and healthy.
Catering Your Northern Virginia Office Party
If you or someone you know is in charge of catering the office holiday party or the annual family and friends get together, consider choosing Dulles’s best catering: Cafesano. Serving up some of the healthiest and lightest foods, with a perfect mix of Italian and Mediterranean flavor, your guests will have no problem enjoying the foods and remaining healthy during your party.
Conveniently providing online ordering with Catering Coordinators standing by to assist you with anything you need, Cafesano helps to provide the special people in your life a way to eat healthy and light this holiday season – it couldn’t be any easier!