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Holiday Parties

Tis the season for holiday parties and all the extra calories that come along with it.

In Santa Barbara, these parties tend to involve copious amounts of great food and drinks – especially wine.

So, how does a fitness conscious person stay social and navigate these events?

Well, there is, of course, abstinence – attend the event, but don't indulge in the drinking and eating. If this was you, then you would have stopped reading this after the first sentence. Since you're still here, we're going to assume that you want a few tips that will allow you to enjoy the festivities and minimize the damage. Here are a few suggestions: holiday-party-diet

Go with a Plan
When you go to a holiday party, or any party for that matter, go with a plan as to how much you are going to drink and eat. Perhaps you decide that you'll have up to two glasses of wine and only one dessert.

A plan of attack will allow you to have fun, enjoy the food and drinks, but also feel good about yourself the next day. It's often the case that we say, "well, one more won't hurt" only to regret the third helping of chocolate cake after we've already eaten it. Planning on having one piece helps prevent that devil on your shoulder that can justify overindulging because It's a "special occasion".

Workout Beforehand
Doing an intense, anabolic threshold, workout before the party can prime your body to update and utilize the calories you're about to ingest much more effectively. If you're looking for workout ideas, talk to your personal trainer, or visit a website designed for personal trainers such as Fitness Professional Online

After an intense workout, your body is looking to replace glycogen stores (sugar stores) and get nutrients to repair damaged tissue. Ideally, these calories come from organic and whole foods, but hey, you're going to a party, so let's deal with what we have in front of us. Your body will utilize whatever it can get and in this case, it's a beer, glass of wine, or those holiday cookies the receptionist always brings.

It's not ideal, but you've got to live life.

Start with the Veggies
You've got a plan, you've put a workout in, and now you're at the party. Start your nibbling at the veggie platter. Skip the dip and start with just veggies as you scope the room. The fiber in the vegetables will make you feel more satiated and likely slow down the cookie binge. You may also find that there are others, like you, doing the same thing.

The goal of the party is to be social and have a good time. Don't over think things, but do go with a plan. You work hard to feel and look your best, so you don't want to blow it over the coming months.

When all else fails, smile. It releases endorphins in you and those around you, which will always make you look younger and feel better.