The Dos and Don’ts for Eating Mindfully at Holiday Parties

It’s that time of year again, the time that brings us so much cheer, yet so much stress. It’s not merely the inevitable stress that comes with most family gatherings and parties, but also the stress these events put on our bodies. What do these gatherings have in common? They all focus on food (and most times, too much food). I, like most human beings, have little will power when it comes to the constant temptation of delicious eats. So whether you’re the guest or the host at the next holiday party, test out these tips for eating mindfully and leave the weight gaining to Santa!

Dos and Don’ts

DO eat a healthy meal before going

Now this doesn’t mean you can move straight to the dessert upon arrival, but does mean you will be less likely to overindulge.

DO limit yourself to one plate

Not one loaded plate, just ONE PLATE. And that doesn’t mean you can just get whatever you want. Ensure a colorful plate with fruits and veggies!

DON’T focus on the food

Focus on socializing. Mom always said never talk with your mouth open. Engaging party-goers in conversation is a great way to keep yourself away from the table or buffet.

DON’T put food in the main gather space.

Rather than having bowls on the table family style, serve food in the kitchen to limit temptations for seconds (and thirds, and fourths). Limit the snacks outside of the kitchen so mindless eating is less likely to occur.

DO limit your alcohol intake


Alcohol is on Santa’s naughty list. It’s definitely not what most want to hear, but alcohol offers a lot of empty calories and impairs one’s ability to control food intake. Use this rule of thumb when drinking this holiday season.

DON’T go in without a plan

Make a plan and stick to it. Even if you’re not the host, you can still head to a party with some idea of what you will eat. Use your Anytime Health app to discourage mindless munching, plus it can be extremely effective in preventing weight gain by increasing awareness of what and how much is consumed.

DO bring your own dish

I was always taught to never show up at a party empty handed. By bringing your own dish you know there will be at least one healthy thing you can munch on during the party. Some healthy options:

  • Homemade Hummus with Mixed Veggies
  • Mini Chicken Lettuce Wraps
  • Fresh Fruit Kebabs
  • Quinoa Stuffed Mini Peppers
  • Christmas Quiche

DO choose wisely when it comes to dessert

Treat your dessert selection like you would a mate. You’re allowed to be picky, because you only get one or two.

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Carly Sippel is a registered yoga teacher, certified life coach, and nutrition nut. She has a Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Dietetics from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She turns her passion into practice, promoting healthy bodies in both her personal and professional life.