5 Holiday Scenarios and Strategies for Success

Posted On Nov 7, 2013 By Erin Kuh, MBA, RD

Dinner Party Health Tips

Scenario #1: The Holiday Party Buffet

"I'll have one more bite of that delicious fondue, another sip of wine… A little won't hurt, right?" Not so fast. The little sips and tiny bites add up quickly. Grazing at a buffet style event is a recipe for overindulging.

Solution:  Only eat from a plate and once you're done with the first helping, get rid or your plate. Position yourself as far from the food table as possible. The same goes for adult beverages. Finish your glass before having more. Don't allow someone to pour more in your glass before finishing. It's too hard to keep track of how much you've had.

Scenario #2: "Come on. You can have a little more!" or "You HAVE to try my new recipe!"

Sound familiar? It's very easy to give into food pushers. They might not be physically cramming calories down your throat, but they might as well be. By giving into their peer pressure, you are allowing them to sabotage your health goals. That's right: YOU!  Yes, YOU! Did I get my point across?

Solution: Remember, you control what goes on your plate and in your mouth. No one else can! Stay strong and have a solid rebuttal statement to get people off your back. The more you do it, the easier it gets. You might hurt a few feelings temporarily, but most of the time, people will respect your commitment to health (although they might poke fun at you in the moment).

Scenario #3: It Only Comes 'Round Once A Year'!

Pumpkin lattes and cranberry (500 calorie a slice) bars are offered for a limited time only. After January 1, you'll have to wait another 9-10 months to get it again.  Might as well enjoy them while you can, right?

Solution: Compromise. Have a smaller amount or set a limit to holiday treats, like one flavored latte per week. Just don't let yourself have one of every holiday special!  Additionally, remember you'll get to enjoy these seasonal foods next year, and the less you have, the more of a treat it is.

Scenario #4: Leftovers Galore

You do great the day of the celebration, but the overflowing fridge is a beacon of temptation.

Solution: The simple solution: cook less. Other options are to send visitors home with food or freeze some to eat later. I hate throwing away food, and avoid it as much as possible. However, if it comes down to it, I'll throw stuff away before eating something just so it won't go bad.

Scenario #5: Gifts 'O Plenty

Cookie exchanges. Boxes of candy. Fruit cake and holiday breads. Jars of this and platters of that.  Food is a common way to show thanks and is a reliable go-to gift.

Solution: Share it with others. Take it to your office, church or local nursing home. The other option is to practice amazing portion control. Most baked goods and sweet treats, such as candy, can be frozen for months, allowing you to take out one spritz cookie or piece of fudge at a time.