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Monday, December 19, 2016

Final Holiday Fetes (parties!)

You’ve conquered Thanksgiving and made it through the first half of December. Now you’re in the home stretch. But there are still probably a few holiday celebrations lingering on your calendar between now and New Year’s Eve.

So how can you successfully navigate these final family dinners, office potlucks, and social soirees and still emerge in somewhat good health on the other side?

Here are a few easy ways to make healthy food choices when you are out and about for the rest of this busy month:

1. Brown bag it.
Offer to bring a dish or a few snacks with you to the party. This way you can plan ahead to make something healthy that you know you’ll enjoy. Or if you know the only fare there will be super-indulgent and not in line with your diet, bring your own food.

2. Don’t ever go hungry.
Eat a light meal or filling snacks before even leaving your house for a party. Load up on whole grains, fruits and veggies, and lean proteins so that you aren’t ravenous upon entry!

3. Practice good portion size.
Grab a tiny appetizer or salad plate at the buffet to fill up rather than a giant dinner plate. And drink a full glass of water between helpings to quench thirst and give you time to consider if you really want to go back for those seconds.

4. Plan your indulgences.
If you know you are attending a party with a hot chocolate bar, or something that truly is one of your guilty pleasures, then don’t deprive yourself. Enjoy the holiday treat you’ve been looking forward to, but then make sure to eat well before and afterwards to balance it all out.

5. Set your stop watch.
Keep track of how long you’ve been somewhere and designate a departure time for yourself. Open-ended open houses that go on for hours often encourage non-stop eating and drinking. It’s a good idea to make a graceful exit after you’ve made your rounds if something is too tempting for your tummy.

Finally, remember to get in a little exercise each day during the holidays. You may not have time for a full workout, but a quick walk for 30 minutes, or fitness DVD at home before you head out the door can go a long way in helping you stay fit.

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(Adapted from Real Simple)

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