Dos and Don’ts of hitting the holiday party circuit without blowing your diet


    By Karen Kwan

    Serving platters piled high with delicious, creamy cheeses, lamb lollipops and mini sliders. Friends serving up champagne, egg nog and martinis. Mom baking your favourite sugar cookies and, of course, that gingerbread house she’s been making for you every year since you were a little girl.

    Yes, the holidays are fraught with diet landmines and there’s no avoiding the social gatherings that’ll put you right in the midst of all of them. But you can stick to your slimdown plan by keeping your diet wits about you. Go ahead and party like a rock star–just keep these dos and don’ts in mind.

    Don’t skip a meal. If you skip dinner so you can indulge in the finger goods and desserts at your friend’s party that night, by the time you get to the party you’ll be so ravenous you’ll pile your plate sky high with all of the fatty, high-calorie foods and gobble down much more than you likely would have if you’d eaten a healthy, well-balanced supper.

    Do have a taste of your favourite foods. If beef Wellington is one of your all-time favourite foods, don’t deprive yourself–go ahead and take one from the cater waiter. Skip the other appetizers being offered, or share the serving of Wellington with your boyfriend. And be sure to savour every delicious bite.

    Don’t let drinking be your diet’s downfall. Alcoholic drinks and soft drinks are high in calories. Plus, get a little tipsy and you’ll be less inhibited, and thus more likely to order up another round (not to mention that booze and fatty foods seem to go hand in hand, so you’ll also be more likely to eat much too much). Alternate drinking a glass of water with your martinis, or if you must have wine, consider having a wine spritzer instead to cut down on calories.

    Do be a social butterfly. If you park yourself next to the bar or the food, chances are you’re going to be sipping and nibbling more than if you focus on mixing and mingling.

    Don’t fool yourself at the buffet. You may have skipped loading your plate with cheese, but the raw veggies on the crudite platter are not so diet-friendly when you’ve drowned them in sour cream and mayonnaise-based dips. And same goes for the fruit plate—fruit is indeed good for you, but devour the entire plate yourself and you’re consuming mucho calories. If it’s a potluck you’re attending, make something delicious and healthy to help you stay on track.

    Do get back on the health track ASAP. If you overindulged at a holiday brunch with your girlfriends, your diet’s already a lost cause so why not eat as much and whatever you want, right? And you can just wait until the New Year to restart your diet! Get real–don’t use one slip-up as an excuse to derail all of your hard work so far. Don’t harp on your temporary setback; use it to motivate you to get even more resolved to stick to your weight-loss plan.

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