Healthy Living

Your Holiday Party Survival Guide: 10 Tips for Weight Loss Success

Don’t look now, but we’re already in the middle of the Holiday season again. Seriously, where has the time has gone!?

This time of the year can be so much fun (and SO busy!), but it can also be a difficult time to stay on track with your weight loss goals.


All of the fun (and maybe sometimes awkward) Holiday get-togethers seem to center around food.

As a response, a lot of people tend to handle all this holiday food in 1 of 2 ways.

1. They sacrifice all of the holiday fun because they don’t want to sabotage their goals and end up getting bummed out and discouraged.

2. Throw their weight loss goals go out the window and they end up without any results.

But what if I told you that it didn’t have to be this way? That you could enjoy holiday parties AND still crush your weight loss goals?

Yes, you heard me right!

I’m going to share with you my top 10 holiday party tips for enjoying the season without throwing in the weight loss towel!

Tip #1 – Exercise

Screen Shot 2017-10-31 at 2.26.48 PM

Ok, ok. You may be rolling your eyes, but hear me out. You’re probably not going to be exercising and working out at the party, but guess what?

Getting in a good sweat sesh beforehand (whether that’s at the gym, at the park, or in your own living room) is one of the BEST ways to get the day started off on the right foot.

It will help you burn some good calories, wake you up, and you’ll already feel an awesome sense of accomplishment.

I recommend doing a mix of strength training and cardio to really ramp up your calorie burn and make sure you keep burning calories throughout the day!

Want a little circuit to try out that will help you maximize your calorie burn? Grab a chair and try out this awesome full body circuit:

  • 10 Step-ups
  • 10 Push-ups
  • 10 Squats
  • 10 Tricep Dips
  • 20 Jumping Jacks
  • 30 Second Plank

Time yourself and see how fast you can get in 3-4 rounds!

Tip #2 – Don’t Save Your Calories

A woman with a fork and knife looking hungry

You may be extremely tempted to skip some meals throughout the day in an effort to save them for the party.

This is actually a really bad idea! Why? Doing this makes it so much easier to accidentally overeat, especially on the “not-so-healthy” types of foods, and this can be a BIG setback for your weight loss goals.

Trust me on this one. I actually recommend the exact opposite:

Make sure you are eating healthy, smaller meals throughout the day, and before the party, eat a small snack so that you don’t go to the party starving and end up sabotaging your goals.

Eating healthy, delicious meals during the day will help give you the energy you need to be productive and help keep your calories within your weight loss zone.

And when it comes time to hit the party, you won’t be starving… or even worse, hangry.

Want an easy, delicious, and affordable meal idea for breakfast and lunch? IdealShape’s meal replacement shakes are to die for and are designed to keep you feeling full and satisfied for up to 3 hours!

Tip #3 – Stay Hydrated

woman's hand holding water bottle

So this is a tip that you should be implementing all year round, but as far as party season goes, this will be a HUGE factor in you being able to manage your hunger.

Staying properly hydrated is KEY to helping keep your hunger in control. The signal that tells our body we are hungry is often confused with thirst.

When you are drinking as much water as you need, it makes it harder to overeat.

But how much water should you be drinking?

You should be drinking at least half your weight in ounces of water every day.

For example:

  • 140 pounds = At least 70 ounces of water
  • 180 pounds = At least 90 ounces of water
  • 230 = At least 115 ounces of water

I promise that as you start to dial in on your daily water intake, you’ll notice that you have more energy and you’ll have that much more help when it comes to battling your cravings.

So, be sure you are staying properly hydrated throughout the day. Don’t save all your water for when you’re at the party or you may find yourself hiding out in the bathroom all night!

Tip #4 – Watch Out for Dressings & Sauces


You may be tempted to hit up the salad bar (if there is one), and to that, I’d say, “good move.”

Here’s the only downside to that:

Dressings and sauces tend to be secret, calorie-packed, weight loss destroyers.

The secret is out now.

Certain types of dressings can turn a healthy salad into a danger zone in no time at all.

But here’s what you should do:

If the dressing isn’t already on the salad, that is ideal. Go ahead and make your salad, and then keep your dressing on the side, instead of pouring it all over your plate. That will help you reduce the amount of calories from your dressing while still adding incredible flavor, and you may not even end up using all the dressing you portioned out!

As a rule of thumb, I recommend sticking with vinaigrette options and red sauces rather than creamy ones.

If the salad already has the dressing on it, see if the dressing bottle is available on the table. If it is, scope out the nutrition facts on the back. It may be a super low-calorie dressing option.

If the salad already has dressing on it and the dressing bottle is nowhere in sight, use your best judgment and exercise some portion control.

Same thing goes for sauces! For all those delicious finger foods, see if there are bottles of the sauces on the table to check out the nutrition labels. If they aren’t available, just use your best judgment and don’t go overboard.

Tip #5 – Portion Control

Some gravy on some turkey

When it comes to weight loss, it’s all about balance. No one wants to eat fish and rice only every day for the rest of their life. That would be a living nightmare to a self-proclaimed foodie like myself!

Here’s how you can find a balance: use portion control, and make more good decisions than bad decision.

This tip will come in clutch when you’re navigating the food table. I recommend filling your plate up first with these items before going into the desserts and other finger foods:

  • Lean proteins
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables

Lean protein like chicken, turkey, lean ground beef, and even low-fat cottage cheese are great sources of protein that will help keep you feeling fuller for longer periods of time.

Also, fruits and vegetables are great foods because they are higher in fiber and water content, and lower in calories. That means you can generally eat more of these types of foods, which also means they can help you fill up a bit.

When it comes to scoping out the desserts, the generic portion size and the way things oftentimes end up getting cut up start to look like monstrous cake sizes. In other words, the portions are generally a lot bigger than they should be.

As a rule of thumb, for pre-cut desserts like cakes, pies, and other desserts, I recommend cutting that portion size in half.

Cookies and things like that should be fine, just be sure to limit how many you have. I recommend sticking with 1 depending on the size.

Tip #6 – Out of Sight, Out of Mind

A pair of hands shuffling a deck of cards

As soon as you’re done eating, organize a card game, turn on some football, or just socialize. Do anything to get the food away from your line of sight.

For me, it’s so much more tempting to keep eating if I am constantly scanning the yummy dessert table and thinking about how delicious all the food smells.

Then I start thinking about how TASTY it all probably tastes, and before I know it, my feet start walking towards the table without me even realizing!

Once you’re done eating, don’t hang out by the food area. The further you can stay away from it after eating, the better!

That will help keep you from grazing at the table and mindlessly snacking.

Tip #7 – Bring Your Own Dish

Sweet and Sour Thai Carrot and Cucumber Noodle Salad Peas & Crayons

Image via Peas & Crayons

A lot of parties tend to be a “bring a dish to share” type of thing. If that’s the case with the party you are going to, awesome!

Bring a delicious dish to share that will fit your weight loss goals. Bringing your own dish to share will make it so much easier to not give in to all the other possible unhealthy options.

Needing some ideas?

  • A tasty salad full of veggies with a vinaigrette dressing on the side
  • Take a healthy appetizer to munch on so you don’t go into your meal starving
  • Make a healthier version of your favorite dessert

Tip #8 – Create Accountability

two people shaking hands

Accountability is HUGE! Being able to hold people and have people also hold you accountable for your goals will help you both achieve your goals.

The support from those you care about can go a long way in helping you make good decisions that would put you on the fast track to weight loss success.

It’s always a good idea to establish some accountability. There is always “strength in numbers.”

If you are going to the party with a friend or spouse, let them in on your goal for the night and have them help you out!

It could be as simple as, “Hey, if you see me going back for seconds on desserts, remind me not to!” or, “I don’t want to drink my calories tonight, so I’m going to drink water. Help remind me!”

Just don’t be mad at them when they do help you out!

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Tip #9 – Don’t Drink Your Calories

Refreshing Brown Soda with Ice

It can be frighteningly easy to accidentally end up drinking a majority of your day’s calories without even realizing it.

Sodas and juices are usually packed with calories (not to mention sugars), and the bummer thing with these is you end up drinking a ton of these drinks, and it doesn’t do much for your appetite.

Check out just some of the party beverages you may find on the table:

  1. Iced Tea – Up to 270 calories per serving and even more
  2. Can of Soda – 150 calories or more!
  3. Juice – 140 calories or more!

Save yourself a whole lot of unwanted calories by drinking water instead. Don’t want to drink just plain water? You can always bring some flavor enhancing packets and mix it in with your water.

IdealBoost is a great drink mix that can take your drink from boring to SO delicious in a matter of seconds. Oh yea, and did I mention it’s only 5 calories (10 for our seasonal flavors) and designed with ingredients to help boost your energy and hunger control?

You can learn more about IdealBoost here.

At the end of the day, I recommend getting your calories from actual food!

Tip #10 – Enjoy The PARTY!

A family sitting around a table toasting after a hearty Thanksgiving dinner

Last but not least, just enjoy the party!

Weight loss is a lifestyle, not a temporary diet. It’s about making more good decisions than bad ones, and being mindful of the things you can be doing to maximize your goals.

But more importantly, weight loss is about balance. Weight loss is more than just a number on the scale.

With weight loss, it’s not about what you lose, but what you gain. Let me explain…

Seeing the confidence and self-love come back into my clients’ lives is the best thing in the world. It’s what keeps me doing what I love.

Nothing beats being able to feel more confident in your own skin and feeling secure enough to take advantage of all that life has to offer!

At the end of the day, enjoy the party. Enjoy the time spent with our friends and loved ones.

One “bad night” isn’t going to completely destroy your weight loss efforts, just like one “good meal” won’t give you your ideal shape.

It’s all about consistency and making weight loss a lifestyle.

Looking for a delicious calorie-controlled meal that will help keep you feeling full for up to 3 hours? Try out our tasty IdealShake meal replacement shakes!


andy haigh

andy haigh

Writer and expert

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