You have prepared. Through the Healthy Holiday Series you have been building good habits, planned for days that suck the energy out of you, prepared to change certain traditions, and outlined your holiday menus. What else could you possibly do?! Well, most of the aspects of the holidays we have covered are geared toward things happening in your own home. But what happens when you are at your work holiday party or even a friends annual winter bash? Holiday parties can be very challenging.
Here are some basic tips to get you not only through holiday parties, but be triumphant over the holiday parties.
1. Don’t skip early meals! A very common mistake is to starve yourself before a night out. But doing this only accomplishes one thing- overeating at the party. When you deprive yourself of nourishment all day, it is easier to overindulge at the party. Tip: Stick to your regular routine. Eat breakfast and lunch like you do on a normal day so it is easier to you to make good choices and stop before you are stuffed too full.
2. Eat supper or a light snack if it is a cocktail party. Cocktail parties are mostly drinks and light appetizers. In this situation a bariatric patient can feel the effects of alcohol quicker on an empty stomach. Eating a quick protein based snack or light meal (i.e. beef jerky, cheese, meatballs) before the party will help slow the effects of an alcoholic drink and ensure your hunger is controlled. Tip: Ask the host/hostess before the party what type of appetizers will be served. This will help you plan if you need to eat more of a meal or just a small snack right before the party.
3. Pace yourself. Alcohol will affect you quicker and to a greater degree after a bariatric surgery. It is best, if you are imbibing, to choose a drink that you can sip on slowly through the evening. This makes it easier to limit your intake to one drink. Tip: Choose a glass of wine or a vodka water with MiO flavoring. Also, stick with non-carbonated drinks!
4. Stay hydrated. You knew I had to throw this one in! Keeping your mind on fluids will help prevent grazing throughout the entire party. Tip: Choose a time to eat at the party and give yourself about 30 minutes to eat the meal or hors d’oeuvres. Focus on hydrating fluids the rest of the time.
Holiday parties are a great way to spend cold, winter evenings. With a little forethought and planning, you can sail right through the party stress-free. Happy Holidays! Lauren