Party On, Enjoy Yourself, and Stay Healthy With These 25 Tips

There’s no need to skip those holiday parties just because you’re trying to maintain your weight during the holidays. These 25 strategies will help you stay on track while celebrating with the best of them.

    Eat a small, healthy snack before you go to the party, so you’re not starving when you get there. An apple with almond butter or fruit with Greek yogurt are great, healthy, and filling options.Bring a healthy appetizer to the party, so you’ll know there’ll be at least one option you can load on your plate.Check out all the buffet options before you start filling your plate, so you know which appetizers are your must haves.When at the appetizer table, opt for lean proteins and fresh veggies first to fill you up before splurging on a less-healthy option.If the appetizer is fried, steer clear, or think of it as your treat.Use a small plate when picking appetizer options.Alternate each cocktail, glass of wine, or beer with a glass of water, so you slow down how many empty calories you’re imbibing all night.Use low-calorie mixers like soda water, not sugary juices, to mix with your cocktail.Make smart decisions the day leading up to a party, so you can relax a bit at night. Load up on healthy, filling foods that keep you full without making you go over your goals for the day.Walk away from the food table so you don’t graze.Move your workouts to the morning so you aren’t constantly skipping sessions when you have evening plans.Know your calorie counts in popular cocktails, so you can make smart decisions.Choose cut vegetables to dip rather than chips or bread. You’ll save hundreds of calories without feeling like you’re depriving yourself.Sip your drink slowly so you aren’t constantly refilling your glass with empty calories.Choose a brut (dry) Champagne over other alcoholic beverages. Brut Champagne usually contains only 65 calories per glass.Add a five-minute workout into your party prep routine. You’ll feel good knowing you raised your heart rate and sweat out a few calories before indulging.Think positive: before you go into a party, psych yourself up about the healthy choices you’re about to make.Dance! There’s nothing like burning calories while having fun.If there’s a dessert you’re dying to have, split it with a friend.Vow to have only a certain number of drinks before switching to water or cutting yourself off.Give yourself a curfew if you find that you can’t resist all the goodies the party offers.Know how to pour a glass of wine. Most people pour too much into a glass, meaning you may be consuming more calories than you are calculating. A serving of wine is five ounces; you should be able to pour five glasses from one 750-ml bottle.Always pour wine with your glass on the table. You’ll be able to gauge how much is in your glass more accurately.Even if you’re enjoying passed appetizers and socializing while you eat, try to eat mindfully. Don’t go back to the buffet unless you are hungry.If you find yourself overindulging, don’t beat yourself up about it. Tomorrow’s another day to make smarter choices.

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Party On, Enjoy Yourself, and Stay Healthy With These 25 Tips

There’s no need to skip those holiday parties just because you’re trying to maintain your weight during the holidays. These 25 strategies will help you stay on track while celebrating with the best of them.

    Eat a small| healthy snack before you go to the party| so you’re not starving when you get there. An apple with almond butter or fruit with Greek yogurt are great| healthy| and filling options.Bring a healthy appetizer to the party| so you’ll know there’ll be at least one option you can load on your plate.Check out all the buffet options before you start filling your plate| so you know which appetizers are your must haves.When at the appetizer table| opt for lean proteins and fresh veggies first to fill you up before splurging on a less-healthy option.If the appetizer is fried| steer clear| or think of it as your treat.Use a small plate when picking appetizer options.Alternate each cocktail| glass of wine| or beer with a glass of water| so you slow down how many empty calories you’re imbibing all night.Use low-calorie mixers like soda water| not sugary juices| to mix with your cocktail.Make smart decisions the day leading up to a party| so you can relax a bit at night. Load up on healthy| filling foods that keep you full without making you go over your goals for the day.Walk away from the food table so you don’t graze.Move your workouts to the morning so you aren’t constantly skipping sessions when you have evening plans.Know your calorie counts in popular cocktails| so you can make smart decisions.Choose cut vegetables to dip rather than chips or bread. You’ll save hundreds of calories without feeling like you’re depriving yourself.Sip your drink slowly so you aren’t constantly refilling your glass with empty calories.Choose a brut (dry) Champagne over other alcoholic beverages. Brut Champagne usually contains only 65 calories per glass.Add a five-minute workout into your party prep routine. You’ll feel good knowing you raised your heart rate and sweat out a few calories before indulging.Think positive: before you go into a party| psych yourself up about the healthy choices you’re about to make.Dance! There’s nothing like burning calories while having fun.If there’s a dessert you’re dying to have| split it with a friend.Vow to have only a certain number of drinks before switching to water or cutting yourself off.Give yourself a curfew if you find that you can’t resist all the goodies the party offers.Know how to pour a glass of wine. Most people pour too much into a glass| meaning you may be consuming more calories than you are calculating. A serving of wine is five ounces; you should be able to pour five glasses from one 750-ml bottle.Always pour wine with your glass on the table. You’ll be able to gauge how much is in your glass more accurately.Even if you’re enjoying passed appetizers and socializing while you eat| try to eat mindfully. Don’t go back to the buffet unless you are hungry.If you find yourself overindulging| don’t beat yourself up about it. Tomorrow’s another day to make smarter choices.

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Play This Healthy Drinking Game

Is there anything worse than waking up after a fun night out feeling dizzy, nauseous, fatigued, and well . . . maybe even a little drunk from the night before? Hack your hangover with this healthy drinking “game.”

After each alcoholic libation you consume, have an eight-ounce glass of good old H2O. Drinking booze dehydrates your system, and drinking water helps your body recuperate faster. Remember that the average female body needs about an hour to metabolize each alcoholic beverage.

Naturopath expert Dr. Holly Lucille is a big believer in following each drink with water, but she has another tip to pace yourself: set an alarm. Once you have your first drink in hand, set an alarm on your phone for 45 minutes later ¡ª and don’t go for that second drink until the alarm goes off! Instead of getting swept up in the moment, you have a chance to get aware of how your body is responding to the alcohol in your system and make a decision from there. This might not sound like fun at first, but your body will be so grateful the following morning.

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Play This Healthy Drinking Game

Is there anything worse than waking up after a fun night out feeling dizzy| nauseous| fatigued| and well . . . maybe even a little drunk from the night before? Hack your hangover with this healthy drinking “game.”

After each alcoholic libation you consume| have an eight-ounce glass of good old H2O. Drinking booze dehydrates your system| and drinking water helps your body recuperate faster. Remember that the average female body needs about an hour to metabolize each alcoholic beverage.

Naturopath expert Dr. Holly Lucille is a big believer in following each drink with water| but she has another tip to pace yourself: set an alarm. Once you have your first drink in hand| set an alarm on your phone for 45 minutes later ¡ª and don’t go for that second drink until the alarm goes off! Instead of getting swept up in the moment| you have a chance to get aware of how your body is responding to the alcohol in your system and make a decision from there. This might not sound like fun at first| but your body will be so grateful the following morning.

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Hack Your Ice Cube Tray For Health

While ice cubes are often made in trays, think outside the box and put them to good use to help you stay healthier this holiday season. Here are some ways to use your ice cube trays as effective tools to prevent weight gain.

Cookies: Anyone who’s ever baked a homemade batch of cookies knows it’s impossible to eat just one. So the next time you craft a batch, bake half and scoop the rest into ice cube trays. Then when your sweet tooth kicks in, pop out one and bake it to satisfy your craving without breaking the calorie bank.Smoothies: Make a huge portion of your favorite smoothie recipe when fruit is overripe or on sale. Fill an ice cube tray (or two) and freeze, then pop a bunch out to easily blend in a blender for a healthy and superquick, low-calorie breakfast, snack, or dessert.Veggies: Freeze pureed veggies such as peas, spinach, sweet potato, squash, and carrots to add extra fiber to soups, baked goods like these oatmeal cookies, mashed potatoes, dips, smoothies, cooked whole grains, pancake batter, and pasta dishes, or use as a sandwich spread. Eating fiber fills you up so you eat less, and it also keeps you feeling full longer so you’re not tempted to reach for high-calorie pick-me-ups.Herbs: Whether you grow your own or buy them fresh at the store, herbs like basil, oregano, rosemary, and cilantro can be washed, chopped, and stuffed into each section of your ice cube tray, and then filled with veggie broth or water. Pop the frozen herb cubes out to add to soups, sauces, and whole grains for a flavor boost without a lot of calories.Juice: Freeze juice from fresh-squeezed lemons, limes, or oranges to add a touch of sweetness to water or seltzer ¡ª it’ll be much fewer calories than a full glass of juice or soda.Fruit: Puree fruit such as strawberries, peaches, pineapple, or mango, and freeze. Pop out a cube or two, and stir into plain yogurt to make your own flavored yogurt ¡ª it contains fewer calories than store-bought brands that contain added sugar. You can also add the pureed fruit to oatmeal instead of brown sugar, or thaw and pour on top of pancakes instead of high-calorie maple syrup.Quick snack maker: Each section of an ice cube tray is roughly an ounce. Use it to quickly measure out one-ounce portions of nuts or cheese, and then spoon them out into your own snack baggies to take to work or throw in your purse or gym bag. Leftover vino: No need to polish off the last few ounces in that bottle of wine so it doesn’t go to waste; you could end up drinking an extra 100 calories or more. Freeze it instead, and you can use the frozen wine cubes in recipes later.

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Hack Your Ice Cube Tray For Health

While ice cubes are often made in trays| think outside the box and put them to good use to help you stay healthier this holiday season. Here are some ways to use your ice cube trays as effective tools to prevent weight gain.

Cookies: Anyone who’s ever baked a homemade batch of cookies knows it’s impossible to eat just one. So the next time you craft a batch| bake half and scoop the rest into ice cube trays. Then when your sweet tooth kicks in| pop out one and bake it to satisfy your craving without breaking the calorie bank.Smoothies: Make a huge portion of your favorite smoothie recipe when fruit is overripe or on sale. Fill an ice cube tray (or two) and freeze| then pop a bunch out to easily blend in a blender for a healthy and superquick| low-calorie breakfast| snack| or dessert.Veggies: Freeze pureed veggies such as peas| spinach| sweet potato| squash| and carrots to add extra fiber to soups| baked goods like these oatmeal cookies| mashed potatoes| dips| smoothies| cooked whole grains| pancake batter| and pasta dishes| or use as a sandwich spread. Eating fiber fills you up so you eat less| and it also keeps you feeling full longer so you’re not tempted to reach for high-calorie pick-me-ups.Herbs: Whether you grow your own or buy them fresh at the store| herbs like basil| oregano| rosemary| and cilantro can be washed| chopped| and stuffed into each section of your ice cube tray| and then filled with veggie broth or water. Pop the frozen herb cubes out to add to soups| sauces| and whole grains for a flavor boost without a lot of calories.Juice: Freeze juice from fresh-squeezed lemons| limes| or oranges to add a touch of sweetness to water or seltzer ¡ª it’ll be much fewer calories than a full glass of juice or soda.Fruit: Puree fruit such as strawberries| peaches| pineapple| or mango| and freeze. Pop out a cube or two| and stir into plain yogurt to make your own flavored yogurt ¡ª it contains fewer calories than store-bought brands that contain added sugar. You can also add the pureed fruit to oatmeal instead of brown sugar| or thaw and pour on top of pancakes instead of high-calorie maple syrup.Quick snack maker: Each section of an ice cube tray is roughly an ounce. Use it to quickly measure out one-ounce portions of nuts or cheese| and then spoon them out into your own snack baggies to take to work or throw in your purse or gym bag. Leftover vino: No need to polish off the last few ounces in that bottle of wine so it doesn’t go to waste; you could end up drinking an extra 100 calories or more. Freeze it instead| and you can use the frozen wine cubes in recipes later.

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Hotel Workout Hack: Challenging Ice-Bucket Moves

Traveling makes workouts tough to fit in, but that ice bucket hanging out in your hotel room can make your small-space sweat session more effective. We like to think of it as the traveler’s take on the Ice Bucket Challenge! You can make a few classic exercises more effective by using this prop ¡ª and these moves all fit in your tiny hotel room too.

Staggered push-up: In a plank position, place the ice bucket under one hand. Bend your elbows as you lower your chest toward the floor, and straighten your elbows to complete a push-up. Having your hands at different levels challenges your entire body in new ways.¡ª Do five to 10 reps, then switch the ice bucket to the other hand for five to 10 more!Ice-bucket squats: Fill the ice bucket to three-fourths full with water, and put the lid on (water is heavier than ice, but caution: you might get a little wet); hold the ice bucket at your chest with your elbows pointed to the floor. Bend your knees to squat down until your elbows touch your knees, and pause at the bottom for just a moment before returning to your starting position. This is just like a goblet squat without having to haul your kettlebell onto the plane.¡ª?Do 15 to 20 reps.Single-leg bucket bridge: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet about 12 to 18 inches from your butt. Put one foot on the bottom of an upside-down ice bucket and raise the other leg toward the ceiling ¡ª make sure the bucket will not slide out from under your foot. Press your pelvis into the air, coming into a one-legged bridge, giving your butt an extra squeeze at the top of the bridge, then slowly lower your pelvis back to the floor.¡ª?Do 15 reps on each leg.

Image Source: Shutterstock

Hotel Workout Hack: Challenging Ice-Bucket Moves

Traveling makes workouts tough to fit in| but that ice bucket hanging out in your hotel room can make your small-space sweat session more effective. We like to think of it as the traveler’s take on the Ice Bucket Challenge! You can make a few classic exercises more effective by using this prop and these moves all fit in your tiny hotel room too.

Staggered push-up: In a plank position| place the ice bucket under one hand. Bend your elbows as you lower your chest toward the floor| and straighten your elbows to complete a push-up. Having your hands at different levels challenges your entire body in new ways. Do five to 10 reps| then switch the ice bucket to the other hand for five to 10 more!Ice-bucket squats: Fill the ice bucket to three-fourths full with water| and put the lid on (water is heavier than ice| but caution: you might get a little wet); hold the ice bucket at your chest with your elbows pointed to the floor. Bend your knees to squat down until your elbows touch your knees| and pause at the bottom for just a moment before returning to your starting position. This is just like a goblet squat without having to haul your kettlebell onto the plane. ?Do 15 to 20 reps.Single-leg bucket bridge: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet about 12 to 18 inches from your butt. Put one foot on the bottom of an upside-down ice bucket and raise the other leg toward the ceiling ¡ª make sure the bucket will not slide out from under your foot. Press your pelvis into the air| coming into a one-legged bridge| giving your butt an extra squeeze at the top of the bridge| then slowly lower your pelvis back to the floor.¡ª?Do 15 reps on each leg.

Image Source: Shutterstock

A Power Pose to Calm You Down

If your holiday schedule is so hectic that you need a break, all it takes is a little change in how you stand to feel an instantaneous stress release. Keep the power pose in your back pocket the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed.

What is the power pose? It’s a simple posture tweak that proponent Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist and professor at Harvard Law School, says helps you instantly gain confidence, reduce anxiety, and better your mood. In fact, Amy found in her research that simply changing posture led to a 25 percent decrease in the stress hormone cortisol in her volunteers. And it’s simple to do: just stand with your shoulders straight and back, arms by your side or hands on hips, and feet turned out. Think: strong, confident Wonder Woman. The idea is to make yourself feel as “big” as possible for two minutes, Amy says ¡ª that’s all you need to change your mood and get back on the holiday cheer bandwagon.

Image Source: Thinkstock

A Power Pose to Calm You Down

If your holiday schedule is so hectic that you need a break| all it takes is a little change in how you stand to feel an instantaneous stress release. Keep the power pose in your back pocket the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed.

What is the power pose? It’s a simple posture tweak that proponent Amy Cuddy| a social psychologist and professor at Harvard Law School| says helps you instantly gain confidence| reduce anxiety| and better your mood. In fact| Amy found in her research that simply changing posture led to a 25 percent decrease in the stress hormone cortisol in her volunteers. And it’s simple to do: just stand with your shoulders straight and back| arms by your side or hands on hips| and feet turned out. Think: strong| confident Wonder Woman. The idea is to make yourself feel as “big” as possible for two minutes| Amy says ¡ª that’s all you need to change your mood and get back on the holiday cheer bandwagon.

Image Source: Thinkstock