Party Time!

Yup, the holiday season is here with parties galore. How are you planning to navigate? Throw caution to the wind and just gobble up everything in sight? (And gain 5-10 pounds by the first of the year!) Or are you searching for a different strategy? Maybe a plan that will allow you to have fun but not pay the price with a ballooning waistline?

Here are my strategies for cruising through those get-togethers without suffering the consequences:

1) Do not arrive at a party starving! Eat a healthy meal before you go. Nothing huge, but make sure you've had some protein, good fats, and plenty of veggies. When you arrive already hungry, there is a much greater chance you'll overeat.

2) Bring a healthy dish to share. If you're worried about the food at the party, this way there will be at least one dish you know you can eat. This is especially important for Paleo people, those with food allergies, and anyone who like a lot of control! (Who could that be???)

3) Load up your plate with the healthiest choices first. Grab those steamed shrimp, deviled eggs, raw veggies, and slices of fresh fruit. Fill your tummy with whole foods and skip the junk. Again, protein is especially key as it will help you deflect sugar cravings and absorb alcohol.

4) Find someone fascinating to chat with. Distract yourself from the buffet by conversing with friends or someone you've just met. Let everyone else polish off the brownies and the cookies while you find better things to do.

5) Stick with low calorie beverages. Of course water is best, but since this is a party, you might want to go for a glass of wine, a wine spritzer, or a sparkling cider. Sip slowly and savor your drink. Avoid all sugary beverages such as eggnog, sodas, punch, and mixed drinks. The calories in alcohol can add up very quickly, so I suggest drinking a glass of water in between your alcoholic drinks. Or enjoy just one glass of wine then switch over to water. Your liver will thank you.

6) Stash a large bottle of water in the car. I am never without my water bottle! After partying, drinking a liter of water on the way home has helped me avoid many a hangover! Remember: your hangover symptoms are largely caused by dehydration.

7) Have fun! That's what these gatherings are for. Don't get so obsessed with your diet that you miss the whole point of the party. If you splurge a tiny bit, don't worry. The new year will be here before you know it and you can join me for a whole month of Whole 30. Nothing will get you back on track quicker!