Nutrition

How to “smart snack” at holiday festivities

We all have those holiday parties we have to attend. When you’re trying to be health conscious it can be stressful knowing you will face the “grazing table” full of food. And we don’t want to be rude and not eat anything. So I wanted to give you all some of my techniques for what I call “smart snacking”; what to avoid and what to put on your plate.

Go for the veggies. This may seem obvious but vegetable trays are a good place to pick at. Stick with celery, broccoli, peppers, or cucumbers. These are low carb and at least make you feel like you are participating in the snacking. However, go easy on the dip. The serving size of veggie dips are usually a tablespoon. So if you absolutely need to dip try to keep it real light.

Shrimp cocktail. Shrimp is amazing for you. It’s basically pure protein. Once again, easy on the cocktail sauce.

Limit the chips. Salsa is generally low in carbs but the carb and fat count on chips can add up fast. Usually the serving size is around 16 or 17 tortilla chips.

Avoid desserts. No real easy way around this. Cookies, cakes, pies, brownies; avoid them all. They are loaded in sugar and the fat content is high.

Dips. Generally any dip that has sour cream or cheese in it is going to be a bad choice. So taco dips, chicken wing dip, ranch dips, any of those I would keep at a tablespoon or less.

Meats. Most holiday party meats are not very lean and are high in fat. Sausage, giblets, roast beef, and ham are all not the best choices. Stick with chicken or shrimp if you have those options.

Cheese and cracker tray. Just stay away from this all together. Nothing good comes from any of that. I like cheese and all but literally one slice is about all you need. The fat adds up fast and cheese tends to be addictive for people.

Drinks. Ok this one is obvious. Stick with diet drinks or water. As far as alcohol goes the best choice is (none) but if you must I always do vodka with soda water and a zero calorie flavor shot. Then you are only accounting for the calories in the alcohol itself. Even then these are just social drinks so keep them limited.

These are just a few techniques I use. I usually try to eat something before I go somewhere so I am not starving when facing the snack table at a party. This tends to keep the food grazing down. Also, after I make my plate I leave the food table area. Then I can pick from my plate and not keep refilling it with food because it’s right there in front of me. I only ended up gaining one pound from my holiday parties I attended for Christmas and Christmas Eve. I am pretty happy with that considering the amount of food I consumed outside of my normal diet and with it not being weighed or tracked. I consider it successful! Hope you all can benefit from some of these ideas! 🙂

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