- salad with homemade dressing
- 1/3 cup of italian mac and cheese
- 1/4 cup of a yummy pasta salad with spinach, tomatoes and olives
- 1/2 oz sage cheddar on a wheat cracker
- 2 pieces of salami on a wheat cracker
- 1/2 oz of brie with cranberry relish on a slice of baguette
- 1 piece of peppermint fudge the size of my thumbnail
- 2 cookies
Our office is no different in that we celebrate the holiday and with a potluck. And, while there are foodies in the group who love to cook and who make fabulous things that I don’t mind indulging in because they’re good and they’re only around once a year, we sometimes have a handful of people who probably use their kitchen cabinets to store boxes of cereal and maybe some extra books or clothes. No joke.
No matter what kind of holiday party you have at your job, there are simple things you can do to watch calories and prevent it from ruining your diet.
1. Take advantage of a potluck by bringing a dish that’s healthy, delicious and filling. I made a spinach salad with roasted butternut squash, craisins, walnuts and roasted onions, and I also made two different salad dressings (maple vinaigrette and cranberry vinaigrette). Although the salad dressings aren’t low-cal, they are very tasty (so you don’t need a lot) and they’re made with clean, pure ingredients. You won’t find preservatives or high fructose corn syrup in these! I also made a low-fat, high fiber butternut squash soup. This all sounds like tons of work, but I swear it took 30 minutes from start to finish (minus clean-up). I made a double batch of soup and froze half of it in single-serve containers for meals on the go and I was hoping to bring home leftover salad, but all that was left was two measly spinach leaves.
2. Chew gum. If you go to one of those appetizer-y, dessert-y soirees that has a host of finger foods ripe for the picking, chew (subtly!) a piece of gum to keep your mouth busy and minty fresh.
3. Socialize. One of my colleagues told us that she heard a radio segment that said you need to take the opportunity to shake hands and schmooze at company holiday parties. You can’t eat too much if you always keep your right hand empty and ready to shake someone’s hand. Nor can you socialize effectively if you’re always eating.
4. Follow my favorite rule from Krissie. Don’t indulge in things that you could purchase yourself. That will allow you to splurge on the really good things (like my mom’s Italian anise cookies and a friend’s pizelles) and leave the red and green M&Ms for someone who could stand to gain a few.
5. Plan ahead. Sundays are always my day to plan my meals and workouts for the week, but I’m extra methodical about this during the holidays. I sit there with the supermarket salesfliers, my schedule for the week, the class schedule for the gym and my fave cookbooks and I plot out my meals (including snacks) and workouts. Any food prep is done on Sunday BEFORE I get distracted and busy at work or with social engagements. ‘
6. Skip the baking. My mom is lucky enough that she LOSES weight in the weeks leading up to Christmas thanks to the calories she burns wrapping gifts, baking dozens and dozens (no joke) of cookies, shopping and decorating the house. I don’t bake enough to lose weight. I bake just enough to gain weight. Truth be told: I really don’t need to bake just because it’s a holiday and I definitely don’t need to bake if I want a cookie. Enough people around me are doing that, so I can take that time I would normally spend baking and go to the gym instead. This is the first Christmas I haven’t baked and while I kinda, sorta miss it, I like the other things I’m doing much more.
What techniques do you use to stop the holiday calorie insanity?