In my years of teaching weight management classes one main topic has surfaced every year — Christmas parties. Family feasts, Christmas parties at work, get-togethers with friends, church potlucks. The more you enjoy these fantastic festivities the more advantageous it is to have a plan beforehand. P-L-A-N might be on your 4-letter word list but you know the old saying, “Fail to plan, plan to fail”.
When I was younger and single, (ok, a lot younger) Christmas seemed like an endless stream of seasonal celebrations. As a dietitian who appreciates good food, I knew moderation would be necessary. Some of these delicacies only showed themselves once a year. I did not intend to deprive myself. Neither did I plan to totally give in unrestrained.
This is a tempting time to overeat for almost everyone, including me. So, I created a five point plan that, with a little practice, has become second nature.
Pretty Painless Party Plans
The Reminder Plan — “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13. All things means all things. If eating too much is a weakness then you have One who strengthens. Self-control is an attribute of the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Believers are equipped with self-control for our own good. Find your favorite verse. It will be a reminder of Who is in control of all things.
The Get Set Plan — Eat lighter meals the day of the party to balance out the extra calories you’ll be eating later. Yes, extra calories. Plan on it. Do you really think you’ll only take carrot sticks? And don’t skip meals either. Low blood sugar can cause you to eat more than intended.
The Scan Plan — Quickly scan the buffet before you go through with your plate. Decide which foods are a Christmas season ‘must have’ and those you can leave behind without feeling deprived. Is there really a good reason to take some of everything? I can’t think of one.
The Game Plan — Meet new people, catch up with family happenings, reconnect with friends. The point? Focus on fellowship. Without all the people it wouldn’t be much of a party, would it? Food can take a back seat. You took action and made some wise choices on that. Move on.
The No Thank You Plan — Host: Can I fill your punch glass for you? Your line: No thank you, but some ice water would be great. Host: More pecan pie? Your line: No thank you, the first piece was just right. …You get the idea. Polite and straight forward. Thank you, moms and dads, for teaching us manners (with a small side of assertiveness).
One more point. If it’s a potluck, consider bringing a dish that is on the lighter side, like Pumpkin Custard. Or Bean Dip with baked tortilla chips. If all the other foods are super rich you’ll have at least one dish that’ll save your bacon.
Now go party like a pro!