Despite what some may think I purposely delayed this particular post in order to gather some real world practical approaches to surviving the office holiday festivities by being my own guinea pig … you’re welcome.
Since last week, I’ve had a total of not one, not two, but THREE holiday luncheons! If I was the sort to keep tally, that’s a cumulative over 2,000 calories at each meal which I could have easily consumed. As one MFP pal quite pointedly said, it was very much just like a calorie “minefield.”
FIRST HOLIDAY LUNCH – Catered
Menu: Lettuce Salad w/choice of Ranch, Italian, Thousand Island dressing, Salmon or Chicken Marsala, Pesto, Rice, Mashed Potato, Dinner Rolls, Butter
Dessert: Mini Cheesecake, Mini Brownie, Chocolate Covered Strawberry, Lemon Squares
My Strategy: Had an extra large heavy protein breakfast. Drank as much water as I could possibly stomach before lunch.
Reality: Under 500 Calories Feeling rather full, I opted for the salmon and very little rice. The rice was dreadfully plain so I didn’t even finish it. And skipped the dessert all together.
Do Differently: Not-a-thing!
SECOND HOLIDAY LUNCH – Restaurant
Menu: Previewed lunch menu online & Pre-selected entree from the ‘light menu’
My Strategy: Drank more than usual amount of water.
Reality: Planned on 520 Ended at 625 I snacked on 2 small pieces of bread without the olive oil dipping sauce – it was fresh & warm so I couldn’t resist. I had the fire-grilled chicken breast with corkscrew pasta. We stayed after the actual meal chit-chatting and in between bits of conversation mindlessly snacked on the dang bread!
Do Differently: Ask the waitress to remove the bread after initial planned snacking
THIRD HOLIDAY LUNCH – Potluck
Menu: Fruit Tray w/Fruit Dip, Veggie Tray w/Veggie Dip, Artichoke & Spinach Dip w/Corn Chips, Salsa w/Tostitos Scoop Chips, Cheeseball w/assorted Crackers, Mini Weenies in BBQ Sauce, Meatballs in BBQ Sauce, Cheesy Potato, Sandwich Wrap, Crack Chicken,
Dessert: Brownie, Mini Red Velvet Cupcake, Mini Vanilla Cupcake w/Vanilla or Chocolate Frosting
My Strategy: Planned on loading up on water but work was crazy busy so I didn’t have the time to drink as much as I had hoped. A little heavier breakfast than usual.
Reality: Planned on 700 Ended at 940 I brought my own main course – my usual veggie loaded turkey sandwich. I had a few corn chips, a few scoop chips, two mini weenies, two meatballs, one Mini Red Velvet Cupcake, one Mini Vanilla Cupcake w/Vanilla Frosting. Had I stopped there I would have done really well but they put the massive leftovers in our work room so every time I went in to get printout from the printer I grabbed a handful of chips. LOL So an epic fail because chips is my kryptonite.
Do Differently: Avoid where the leftovers are being stored like the plague! ha-ha
HOW I SURVIVED OFFICE HOLIDAY LUNCHES
Planning, Planning, Planning! Not only does planning help minimize over indulgence but it also prepared me emotionally for when the reality didn’t quite match up to the plan
Being mentally prepared that I probably won’t be 100% successful helped me to enjoy all three luncheons whether I was successful or not so much in eating outside of my original strategy
Jedi Mind Trick: Water. Such a simple thing but helps so much! Not only does it make me feel fuller but I continue to binge on water after because it seems to help my body to process things more efficiently & shortening the time of my weight flux.
Hazards: Grazing adds up ridiculously quick. I went from a nice .5 of an oz of chips to about 1.5 oz. And I know that it may not sound like a lot but calorie wise it was a difference between 80 calories to 240! BOOM – just like that! lol
Setting: I tend to be more successful when I know well in advance what will be available. (The Potluck menu kept expanding because some of the ladies was worried about not having enough food lol). I also tend to be more successful when the food is no longer accessible once its over.