Navigating the Holiday Dessert Bars

The holidays are a wonderful time of year because we gather with family friends from near and far. Unfortunately, food tends to be the main attraction at parties. It is not uncommon for people to save their calories all day for the dessert bar. Sound familiar? Yes, I love desserts just as much as the next person, but I make sure to have a game plan before heading into a party.

My tips and tricks when navigating the holiday dessert bar:

Understand the math. Consider the sugar, fat, and calorie content of the dessert. Even though pecan pie has nuts it is calorically dense and loaded with sugar. Choose the pumpkin pie instead and enjoy every bite!

If you eat dessert, skip the alcohol. I know it seems harsh, but it is best to avoid double dipping. Choose your sugar wisely.

Eat half portions of your favorite dessert. This is a great way to have a few bites of the things you love without breaking the calorie bank for the week! You can still enjoy your favorites this holiday season.

Scrape off the icing from desserts. Icing is packed with sugar, and the dessert itself tends to be sweet enough. The key is to slow down and savor each bite.

Don’t stand near the dessert bar. It can be tough to stick to a game plan if all you see is your favorite dessert lurking in the corner of your eye. Think out of sight, out of mind. Make a plate with half portions of your favorite desserts and walk away.

Eat protein beforehand. I always have a few bites of protein before heading to a party.Protein can help to keep your sugar cravings at bay. I usually have a handful of nuts, a hard-boiled egg, or a piece of turkey.

Remember to enjoy this time of year! Try not to stress too much about the food. Fill-up on as many whole foods as you can before heading to the holiday party and then enjoy a few of your favorites!