By Lauren Hass
As the Holiday Season quickly approaches, so does the possibility of gaining the dreaded “Holiday 10!” Instead of accepting that your pants are going to feel tight this year, start telling yourself NOW that your skinny jeans WILL FIT you throughout all the festivities because you are going to follow my tips to keep you feeling and looking fabulous at all the parties you attend.
1. NEVER ARRIVE HUNGRY
The first thing I tell my clients when they are going to a holiday party is to NEVER ARRIVE hungry and have a protein rich pre-party snack. Eating a little before will stop you from eating everything in site the moment the tray passed hors d’oeuvres come out of the kitchen and the buffet is open. By keeping your hunger at bay with a small snack, you will make better choices and avoid “starvation eating.”
HH TIP: Try having a hardboiled egg, almonds or some turkey before you leave.
2. BRING A HEALTHY DISH
Every time I go to a friend’s house for dinner, I always bring one of my fabulous salads or side dishes. Not only will you be helping your friend out by bringing a great addition to the meal, but you will also save yourself from eating the wrong foods because you have brought something healthy and delicious that you can eat.
HH Tip: Check out two of my fav NEW holiday recipes:
Creamy Asian Pear, Persimmon & Fennel Salad & Cauliflower & Dill Mash
3. LIMIT ALCOHOL
Not only do the calories in alcoholic beverages add up quickly, but alcohol will cause you to loose your ability to say “NO” to anything and everything. I tell my clients, “When you go to a party, stick to 1 or 2 drinks max, alternating with water between drinks and SKIP the sugary cocktails and mixers.” Instead, opt for a glass of wine, champagne, tequila or vodka soda or a beverage on the rocks. If you really want to save calories, you can even skip the alcohol all together and have a Perrier with lime juice. I promise nobody will know it is non-alcoholic.
HH TIP: Replace eggnog (343 calories, 1 cup) with a glass of champagne (85 calories, 4oz) or vodka soda (less that 100 calories).
4. STAY AWAY FROM ANYTHING FRIED, MINI, PUFFED, BREADED, ON WHITE BREAD, CRACKERS AND CHEESE!
Skip the mini quiche, puffed cheese balls, fried fritters, spring rolls, and enjoy the shrimp cocktail, ahi tuna sashimi, sushi, crudités with hummus or salsa, fruit, veggies/fruit wrapped in prosciutto, chicken/beef/pork/veggie skewers, roasted tenderloin or smoked salmon on pumpernickel bread.
HH Tip: Skip the baked brie/feta with crackers, which can quickly add up to a 500 calorie snack and replace it with 2 tablespoons of hummus with some veggies or better yet, have 5 shrimps with cocktail sauce (100 calories).
5. DO NOT STAND NEXT TO THE BUFFET, BOWL OF NUTS, CHEESE PLATTER
One of the biggest challenges for people when they arrive at a party, is NOT to stand next to food, especially if you go alone to a party. Did you know that when you see food, a psychological hunger may occur, even if you are not physically hungry, leading you towards unnecessary eating? And, when you smell food, even if you are not hungry, your olfactory system will send a signal to your gut to release ghrelin, which will lead to false hunger. In short, STAY FAR AWAY from any place there is food sitting out to keep fake hunger at bay.
HH Tip: Instead of “working” the buffet, work the room by chatting with as many guests as possible. Parties are not only about the food, but also about the company!
6. USE A SMALLER PLATE FOR DINNER
Using a smaller plate for dinner means smaller portions. Such a simple, yet over looked tip. Instead of grabbing a large dinner plate, use a salad plate. Eat what is on your plate, wait 20 minutes, and if you are still hungry, go grab another serving of veggies.
HH Tip: Do not grab the mashed potatoes (250 calorie/cup), if you are still hungry. Instead, have another serving of salad, sautéed or roasted veggies (100-150 calories/cup).
7. STICK TO PROTIEN AND VEGGIES
If you make a very conscious effort to stick to protein and veggies, you will save yourself a lot of calories. By filling up on protein and fiber, you will feel more satisfied because this combo will balance your blood sugar, keeping you fuller for longer.
HH Tip: Fill your plate with 4 ounces of protein and as many HEALTHY vegetables as possible because nobody gains weight from eating vegetables!
8. SHARE DESSERT WITH A LOVED ONE
If you make a conscious decision to enjoy dessert after dinner, share it with a loved one! This way, you can “have your cake and eat it, too” and only consume half of the calories you normally would eat if you didn’t share it.
HH Tip: Skip the pecan pie that has about 500 calories for a 1/8 of the pie and share a piece of pumpkin pie that has about 300 calories for the same size serving. Remember, if you share it, you are cutting the calories in half, so that piece of pumpkin pie will only cost you a total of 150 calories! Oh, and please skip the whipped cream!
9. MAKE A HAAS HOLISTIC DESSERT
It is NO secret that I LOVE sugar but love to feel svelte even more which is why I have created a few fabulous desserts that I can indulge in 100% guilt free! Instead of eating the desserts other people bring, “Wow” the party with one of my healthy, real treats.
HH Tip: Click here for my Pecan Chocolate Chip Cake recipe that will make your mouth water! By making one of my healthy, all natural, low sugar, dairy and gluten free, organic desserts your body will know how to metabolize all of the ingredients instead of turning it into fat.
10. THINK, SAY AND DO
If you set your intention and tell yourself that you will not gain weight this year, exercise daily and follow my tips, I promise you will not fail. This is called manifesting and it is my NUMBER 1 SECRET to staying happy, healthy, vibrant and of course feeling good all YEAR ROUND!
HH Tip: Write your “Holiday Manifestation-Manifesto” on your mirror in your favorite lipstick color so you see it, read it and believe it EVERY MORNING. You can also set an alarm in your phone to go off every day as a reminder to stay on track!
Lauren Hass is an AADP Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner, C.N.C, C.N.H.P, Holistic Nutrition Coach, Certified Nutrition Coach as well as a Holistic Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach based in Los Angeles.