Today is our office 'Holiday Lunch.' We used to do dinners, but for a variety of reasons, we're having lunch this year. Whether it's a holiday lunch or dinner or party, it comes with a little bit of anxiety for someone who is watching their diet this holiday season. Actually, meals out and parties can cause minor anxiety for anyone watching their diet any time of the year. I just think it's all a little magnified this time of the year when there is so much going on.
I'm watching my diet because I have a few pounds to loose. After the marathon, I was still used to eating as if I was training for the race, and it took a bit of time to adjust my diet to fit my activity level. That first week after the race, I was SO hungry. It was the strangest thing and a bit annoying because I usually pay attention to what and how much I eat and try to make sure, as best I can, that it corresponds with how much exercise I'm getting. Right after the race, I wasn't getting any exercise because of my injured foot. Even then, when I did start going to the gym, I was getting much less cardio in than I had been used to for the 6 months or so before that.
So, I admit, that I've put on a few lbs before the holiday season and it's now time to take control. In preparation for today's grand lunch out, at an Italian restaurant (not usually a dieters friend) I went out in the frigid winds to go to the gym, spent 55 minutes on the elliptical, stretched and did triceps extensions, bicep curls, lat pull downs, and a few other exercises. My plan of attack is to burn some calories, start my day off with a good breakfast (my usual oatmeal with banana, flax seeds, cinnamon, and almond butter), a coffee when I get to work, and an apple not long before we leave for the restaurant. I know apples help keep hunger off for me, so if I don't get there starving it'll be much easier to turn down the piece of bread and only eat a little bit of the pasta course and opt for the chocolate covered strawberries for dessert rather than the flourless chocolate molten cake (I've already gotten the inside dish on the menu so there aren't any surprises).
Many people go to office parties or lunches out when they're going to get a nice meal thinking that they should go hungry so they can load up on all the great food. Well, my thinking is a little backwards from that. I can still enjoy the food, but not quite as much of it. I guarantee that I won't be feeling as sluggish when we get back to the office and have to go into a budget meeting!
What are you tips for handling holiday parties and meals out?