Keeping your nutrition in check is challenging at the best of times, let alone during party season. Unfortunately, all those fatty, salty and sugary foods calling your name (especially after a few drinks) aren't going to help you reach your goals. But there are ways you can help minimise the potential damage and still party like it's 1999.
Music to your ears? Read on.
CUT YOURSELF SOME SLACK
It's important to go easy on yourself and set realistic goals. If you don't, you could potentially set yourself up for failure, which is much worse than having a few cheats here and there. This could be as simple as allowing a small weight gain over Christmas/ New Year, but factoring in extra cardio and sticking religiously to your macros on the non-party days. Your trainer can also advise on whether accelerator (low carb days) might also be a good option for you.
EAT BEFORE THE PARTY
This is a game changer. When off to a cocktail function, it might seem like a smart idea to skip dinner, mainly because they kick off at a most inconvenient hour of 5 or 6 pm and, hey, there'll be catering. Dinner, drinks and hors d'oeuvres all in one: what could go wrong? Before we know it, we're romping through risotto balls and ploughing through mini pizzas, guiltily trying to recount the quantity consumed in the taxi on the way home. Or even worse, those little morsels just weren't filling enough so you decide to end the night with a souvlaki. We've all been there! Plan to eat a high protein meal beforehand, eggs, meat, chicken or fish, to keep you full during the party. You'll also feel better the next day. Contrary to popular belief, studies show that fatty snacks don't absorb alcohol and are more likely to cause stomach upset the morning after. So nip those cravings in the bud and line that stomach well before you head out!
BRING A HEALTHY PLATE
Might seem like an obvious one, but if asked to bring food along, contribute a healthy plate and snack from it during the course of the party. If you bring a bag of Doritos, chances are you'll eat them ALL.
STAY AWAY FROM THE KITCHEN
At a cocktail party recently, I seemed to be positioned as far as possible from food despatch and by the time the waiters got to me, the serving platters were empty. My disappointment was soon replaced with satisfaction as it occurred to me that I'd uncovered yet another silly season survival tip. Place yourself far from the kitchen and avoid temptation!
DRINK 1 AND REHYDRATE 2
Put simply, aim to consume 2 small glasses of water after every alcoholic drink. Whilst implementing this kind discipline can be annoying, you'll be slowing down your alcohol and energy intake and you'll most likely be hangover free the next day.
AVOID SUGARY MIXERS
This should be a no brainer. If you need to mask the taste of alcohol with raspberry lemonade or coke, then don't drink it! Soft drinks are the number one trigger for obesity and Type 2 diabetes in Australia. Which is why the Government is rightly contemplating applying a tax to them. Tonic water is a sneaky offender which tricks many. Whilst it can be good at repelling mosquitoes, a single serve of tonic water has only 3.5 grams less sugar than the same serve of coke equating to a whopping 21.5 grams per serve of sugar #macros
Yep, dancing is exercise but combined with booze you're not going to burn as much energy as you think. Consider the ol' energy in energy out rule and commit to scheduling in an extra run, walk or cycle in your regular routine to compensate for the extra.
IDENTIFY & RESTRAIN
We're only human after all and sometimes it's hard to so say no. Use your inner superpower to identify healthy options and as a general rule try to avoid anything fried or on bread. Last but not least, extend that superpower just a little further (if you can) and keep your consumption in check.