Top 10 tips to party-proof your diet21-12-2009
The festive season needn't mark the end of your healthy diet. Fill up on the right nibbles and party tipple and your LBD will fit you perfectly throughout the festive season...
Fill up first
Heading to the party straight from the office? It's easy to forget to eat beforehand. And drinking on an empty stomach is a surefire recipe for a hangover, not to mention wrecking your diet with any canapés that come your way!
"Before you set out, eat hummus with oatcakes, a palmful of mixed pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds, a boiled egg or a yogurt-based smoothie," advises clinical nutritionist Ian Marber.
Pass up on fancy-looking cocktails, which can be laden with sugar, food colourings and hangover-inducing ‘congeners' (abundant in darker spirits like rum or whisky; less so in clear spirits like gin or vodka). Stick to a glass or two of white wine soda spritzers, quality red wine or a simple Screwdriver (vodka and orange). Alternate each alcoholic drink with water for a clear head the morning after.
Get there early
It's better to arrive at a drinks party when healthier savoury nibbles are being passed around, than to arrive much later when there are either no nibbles left, or only fatty, sugary canapés to pounce on.
Dodge the stodge
Avoid hydrogenated-fat-filled stodge like quiche, sausage rolls, pastries and samosas. Watch out for rich sauces served at the hot buffet counter, and don't be fooled by fatty mayo-laden potato salads, creamy dips and coleslaw at the salad counter. Load your plate with fresh vegetables and vinaigrette salads.
Be canapé savvy
Give those cute but killer-calorific mini fish & chip cones and fried Tempura veg a wide berth. Opt for smoked salmon, grilled tiger prawns, sushi, vegetable crudités and chicken skewers (and scoop up only a smidge of accompanying sauces). Go easy on appetisers piled high on biscuits, bread or vol au vent pastry bases.
Eat with awareness
When you're standing, chatting, drinking and enjoying the entertainment, it's difficult to keep tabs on how many canapés you're actually tucking in to. If possible, get a small plate, sit down at a table and be mindful about what you're eating. Know when to start declining them.
Balance your blood
Load your plate wisely. "When your blood sugar is high, you produce more of the hormone insulin, which is a fat-storing hormone," says nutritionist Sally Whitcombe. "One of the tricks for stabilising blood sugar levels is to eat more protein." Good sources include roast fish and chicken drumsticks (easier to digest than red meat), nuts and quail's eggs.
Keep your hands full
Carrying a clutch bag in one hand and a glass or camera in the other is one way of not being tempted to pick!
Slip out early
It may not as much fun, but leaving before the cheese and pudding buffet counters reveal their wares (and before Rodney in accounts makes a fool of himself) is one way of not stockpiling the calories on excess booze and party eats.
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