Poised for the Holidays: Survival Guide, Part 2

Yesterday, we kicked off our special holiday survival guide with some tips on staying active and getting your sweat on during this hectic season. Today, we wanted to focus on some strategies for surviving holiday parties. Social events can be landmines when you're trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Fancy holiday cocktails can be loaded with sugar, and you don't want to be the grinch who declines a cookie swap. Read on for our ideas for staying socially savvy this season!

We know that the ladies of #poisenation are social butterflies - your planners are likely jam-packed with festive events. Holiday parties can seem like they're engineered to steer your focus away from your goals, but today's tips will prove that it is possible to enjoy yourself without feeling guilty the next day.

  • Stay hydrated. Make sure you're drinking plenty of water throughout the day, and always drink a full glass of water prior to any social engagement. Staying hydrated will help to ward off hunger, and also helps to combat the effects of Auntie Muriel's Legendary Holiday Punch. Throughout the parties, you should also make sure to alternate between water and cocktails. 
  • Avoid the egg nog. Festive cocktails can often be loaded with sugary or fattening ingredients - or both, as is the case with the dreaded egg nog. Do your research before heading to a holiday party at a bar. A lot of fitness bloggers do features on healthy holiday cocktails, like today's post on Fitsugar; learn the ingredients and ask the bartender to recreate one of these for you. If you're going to a friend's house instead of a bar, plan to stick with wine or a basic vodka soda.
  • Plan ahead. If you're going out to a restaurant, review the menu ahead of time to figure out some healthy options. Decide where you want to splurge. If there's a dessert that you simply must try, suggest splitting it with one of your dining companions, or skip the appetizer course in favor of indulging in a sweet treat. Splitting entrees can help to keep portions down, or look for restaurants that offer small plates to help prevent overeating.
  • Don't keep the treats at home. Treats have a sneaky way of multiplying over the course of the holiday season. I try to limit what I keep in my house. If a host insists that I take home leftover dessert, I'll bring it to the office the next day rather than leaving it at home - my coworkers have no problem taking the snacks off my hand! If you like to bake treats to give out as gifts, keep them out of sight. I like to package my cookie gifts as soon as they're ready so that I won't be tempted to break into them, and I don't keep them in the kitchen. 
  • Stick to a healthy routine as much as possible. Remember to eat a healthy breakfast every day and keep plenty of healthy options on hand. Eating a smart, filling lunch and a good snack in the afternoon will ensure that you aren't too hungry during your evening social engagements, so you're less likely to overindulge. 
  • Dance! Socialize! Sparkle! Get active! We see the smiling energy you each bring to the studio day in and day out. Put those zumba moves to work on the dance floor! Mingle, meet new people, chat and interact. Avoid lingering by the bar or the snack table; if you stay active, you'll have less time to nibble. 

The most important piece of advice that we have for you? It's okay if you slip, but don't let that discourage you! If you do have a few too many cocktails at the office party, or if you can't resist sampling all of the cookies at the family cookie swap, that's okay. It's just one day. Don't let that discourage you, and don't treat that slip up as an excuse to let your other healthy routines slide. Enjoy yourself and remember that every day is a new opportunity to embrace a healthier you!

Missed the earlier posts in this series? Check them out here: Part 1