If you’ve made it through the festive season without putting weight on, you don’t want to undo your hard work by going crazy at New Year parties instead. Any extra pounds you put on at this time of year can be very difficult to shift and could take months to lose. Scary thought, right? Taking some steps to make sure that you don’t put on weight in the first place off the back of your New Year party plans. Here’s how to ring in the New Year and have fun, without overindulging.
Have an Action Plan
Before you even get to a New Year party, have a plan in your mind about what you’ll eat and drink. You may even decide to forgo alcohol altogether, especially once you realize the calorie count in some alcoholic drinks. Regardless of whether you drink alcohol or not, think about how much food and drink you’ll consume and keep this plan in mind as the party progresses.
If you’re worried about sticking to your guns, fill up on healthy, protein rich food beforehand so you’re less tempted to snack. A handful of nuts can help to fill you up, for example.
And don’t turn up to the party hungry. It’s a surefire way to blow your good intentions out of the water.
Be Savvy With Drinks
What you choose to drink at a New Year party can be super important for avoiding weight gain. A lot of party drinks are full of empty calories. If you’re drinking cocktails, be aware that anything with coconut milk, cream or syrup-based juices will add to the calorie count quite a bit.
Here’s an idea of how some popular festive drinks stack up against each other:
- Mojito – 168 calories
- Margarita – Up to 562 calories
- Pina colada – Up to 526 calories
- 6 ounces of peppermint mojito – 180 calories
- 3 ounces of martini – 119 calories
- 5 ounces of champagne – 122 calories
- Cosmopolitan – 100 calories
- Gin and tonic – 148 calories
- Vodka soda – 96 calories
- Skinny eggnog – 107 calories
- Eggnog – potentially around 225 calories
- 5 ounce glass of wine – Around 125 calories
- 3.5 ounce glass of dessert wine – Around 165 calories
- Half a bottle of red wine – 250 calories
- Hot buttered rum – 480 calories
- White Russian – 355 calories
- Spiced cider with rum (one cup) – 150 calories
- Mulled wine – 125 calories
Cocktails can sometimes (but not always!) be a smarter choice, These cocktails can weigh in at 150 calories or less:
- Cherry whiskey sour
- Pomegranate martini
- Cucumber mojito
- Tequila daiquiri
- Peach crisp
- Bloody Mary
You can cheat a little by adding soda to make it last longer and cut some of the calories. For example, a vodka tonic can contain 175 calories but swapping this for a vodka, soda and lime cuts this down to just over 100 calories. No one will know the difference!
And don’t forget to drink plenty of water in between drinks to stay hydrated and pace yourself. It’s also an easy way to cut down the calorie intake from your drinks.
Don’t forget about non alcoholic drinks too. Seasonal offerings from Starbucks and the like can be full of fat and sugar and non alcoholic versions of eggnog can still pack a good punch calorie wise.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Party season can be a lot of fun and that can mean that you skimp on sleep. This can be a bad move as far as your weight is concerned as sleep and appetite are strongly linked. Lack of sleep often leads to snacking and overeating in general.
According to research, it can add an average of 385 extra calories. Even worse, those calories tend to be from fatty foods and not protein. It’s all to do with an imbalance of hormones – specifically ghrelin and leptin. When you don’t get enough sleep, ghrelin levels go up and leptin levels go down. The combined effect of this stimulates your appetite.
The bottom line? Get plenty of sleep over party season and you’re less likely to overindulge in unhealthy party food, especially if you don’t turn up hungry. It’s a lot easier to make healthy food choices when you’ve had a good night’s sleep.
Focus on the Party
Instead of keeping half an eye on the food and drinks that are on offer, put your focus on the party itself, especially the social side of things. Being present in the moment and focusing your attention on the other guests. Get involved in conversations and really listen to what’s being said. You might be surprised how little you think of the buffet table or party food in general when your attention is elsewhere.