How to Splurge Smart at Holiday Parties: Treat Yourself Without Stressing Out

Dec 15 2021 Hey Lisa,

I have some holiday parties lined up, and I don’t want to deprive myself when it comes to all the yummy food. How can I indulge without tanking my healthy-eating efforts?

Urge to Splurge Hi Urge to Splurge,

I think it's important to let yourself cut loose every once in a while… but it's also important not to become too focused on regrets and restrictions. Here's some advice...

The day of the event, eat healthy but don't skip meals. You may be tempted to save all your calories for the party, but that'll just leave you feeling hangry all day. So enjoy a satisfying breakfast and a light-yet-filling lunch. The extra calories from one night won't have too much of an impact.

Get in some exercise. If you’re worried about calorie consumption, balance it out with some extra movement. Plus, you'll probably get a mood boost to boot—thanks, endorphins!

It’s all about balance. Survey the scene. Identify your must-have items, then balance them out with the healthier items. If it's a big holiday dinner, make room for those decadent side dishes, then load up your plate with turkey and roasted veggies. Are you a dessert nut? Keep your main meal moderate, and save room for the slice of pie you've been dreaming of. Is it more of a snacky cocktail party? Balance out those indulgent hors-d'œuvres with some crudités.

Sip plenty of water. Do this leading up to the event and while you're there. Hydration is important, and it also can help keep you from feeling out-of-control hungry. Flavored seltzers are huge right now, so chances are you'll be able to find fun alternatives to the plain H2O at the party.

Most importantly: Don't obsess over what you ate afterward. You came, you saw, you chewed, you celebrated… and that's it! Enjoy your evening, have fun with your loved ones, then just resume your usual healthy lifestyle the next day. Make a simple but tasty breakfast the next morning (we have suggestions), maybe go for a walk or a quick workout, and move on. Don’t self-sabotage by throwing in the towel on your healthy habits. It’s all about the 80/20 philosophy!

Happy holidays, and have so much fun!

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Chew on this:

Today, December 15th, is National Lemon Cupcake Day. These Lemon Almond Mini Cakes are incredibly tasty — they'd make an unexpected but welcome addition to any holiday festivity!

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