The holidays are among us, and no matter what you celebrate, you’re gonna end up at a party of some kind which begs the question… if I’m trying to stay within my macros, what the fuck do I eat while I’m there? Hang on cuz we are about to give you a crash course on how to party like a meathead.
BEFORE YOU GO…
- Eat a high-protein snack. A handful of nuts, veggies and hummus, or fruit with 1-2 tablespoons of nut butter are all banger snacks before a holiday party, you’ll be less tempted by all the crackers and cheese.
- Don’t skip meals or healthy snacks. “Saving” your appetite for later, or trying to limit your calories can lead to low blood sugar, intense food cravings, and over-eating.
- Another option is to try to be mindful. We also know that not all eating at a party is because you’re hungry. Sometimes we graze because we’re being social, sometimes we eat because we’re anxious. Just be aware of this as much as you can.
- If you’re feeling anxious about what you’re about to attend, attempt to lower your stress by doing a stress reducing activity like: \ a brief meditation, a walk, watching something funny, drinking some tea, making sure you drink enough water, etc.
- For some of us, high stress can increase hormones, notably cortisol, and the “hunger” hormone ghrelin, which are linked to increased appetite. Stress can contribute to cravings that lead us to crave more foods high in fat, sugar, or both
- GET SOME SLEEP. Remember in the episode a couple weeks back when we talked about it being easier to make better nutritional food choices when you get enough sleep? Hey, we back. When you’re tired, it can affect your hormone levels, including the one that controls appetite. When I’m tired, I know I crave sugary foods or higher in fat options. Those foods can trigger an immediate release of serotonin and dopamine. And that makes turning away from less nutritionally dense foods at party more difficult.
- If you know that you’re a post drink snacker, have a healthy meal or snack prepared for when you come home after the event. You’re less likely to grab for fast food or less nutritionally dense snacks post party.
- Bring some gum! Subconsciously, you’re less likely to graze if your mouth is preoccupied and you don’t even have to think about it.
- Use the 5 S’s of mindful eating: sit down, savor, slowly chew, stay in the moment with a deep breath, and smile (the smile helps you to pause for a moment as you decide if you want another bite or not).
- Remember the hand measure method. It’ll be super helpful if you don’t want to drag your food scale with you on your night out.
- Quick reminder: palm-sized protein, fist-size serving of veggies, cupped hand of carbs, thumb-sized serving of fat.
- Pick the smaller plate. You crave less if you see less.
- Smaller plates will help you with your portion control — an especially good strategy for those all-you-can-eat buffets.
- A study from Cornell University says that the first three items in a buffet line are likely to make up 65% of your plate just because you see them first. This leaves little room for things you may really want and makes a second helping more likely.
- Cut down on overeating and promote mindful eating by doing a tour of the entire buffet before you fill your plate.
- Eat your favorite food last. A study in the journal Appetite suggests that you remember the last bit of food you eat the best.
- This prevents you from eating more later because the experience is still fresh in your mind.
- Resign from the Clean Plate Club. Many of us were brought up to finish everything on our plate and were not allowed to leave the table until we did.
- Consider packing the leftovers to go, or just leaving the last couple bites.
- If you’re full, honor your fullness!
AND WHAT ABOUT DRINKS?
- Opt for less sugary options.
- Diet soda if you can tolerate it
- Lower sugar juices
- If it helps you, you can always bring these options with you
- Remember, when you drink, your liver prioritizes metabolizing the alcohol. This can increase fat storage. Alcohol increases your appetite and lowers inhibitions making it hard to say no to temptation or cravings. Alcoholic beverages can be high in calories, and also contain empty calories with little to no nutritional value. We’ve listed the caloric values for some popular drinks in the show notes just so you are aware. Screen shot that shit for reference.
- Beer — 250 calories
- Red or white wine — 120 calories
- Daiquiri — 259 calories
- Vodka and club soda — 64 calories
- Champagne — 84 calories
- Rum and Coke — 91 calories
- Cosmopolitan — 230 calories
- Bloody Mary — 140 calories
- Sangria — 167 calories
- Plain Martini — 69 calories
- Margarita — 270 calories
- Pre-select your drink of choice. Choose what you’re wanting to drink, regardless of calories. If you’re craving a pina colada, don’t force yourself to have a gin and tonic to save yourself calories. Like food, you’re more likely to over indulge in the thing you’re forcing yourself to have when you could have just had the pina colada. There are ways to bring down the calories in your favorite drink by swapping for lower calorie ingredients, just like food
- Drink a glass of water in between alcoholic drinks.
- If you don’t want to drink, don’t! We realize that societally, it’s more acceptable to over indulge in drinking than to just not drink. If you think your friends are going to drink too much and give you shit for not drinking, you can always have a sparkling water with lime and it looks like a gin and tonic.
- REMINDER: Relaxing, being sociable and having fun is an essential part of your mental wellbeing too
Now that you’re armed with all of these tips, you can survive any party! Weddings, birthdays, work outings… they don’t scare you! Remember, it’s okay to make an exception to have that dopeass dessert from the pastry table, and you don’t have to run it off the next day. You’re not a fucking robot. Enjoy yourself. You’ve earned it.