3 Ways To Work That Holiday Buffet Table

Holiday parties are always good for lots of family, friends, fun and, of course, FOOD! Maintaining your health goals during the most wonderful time of the year can feel downright impossible. Everywhere you turn there are cakes, cookies and other goodies that are determined to make their way into your mouth.

For many, the holiday party buffet table is like the perfect storm of everything that could stall your revved up metabolism. Hello, anxiety and frustration! It’s nice to meet you. Fret not (remember stress is fattening), because the buffet table at your next holiday gathering doesn’t have to be a source of angst. With the right game plan what may seem to be an obstacle to your weight loss goals can actually be a huge opportunity.

There Will Be Leftovers

I believe where there’s excess there’s access. Even though partygoers nibble throughout the night, there are often plenty of leftovers. Many savvy hosts will send their guests home with food. But more often than not, much of what was on display to eat actually makes it into the trash.

Because food waste is a huge problem, I always bring “to go” Ziplock baggies or Tupperware to a holiday party. I even encourage my friends to do the same when I’m the host. There are some who frown upon this. It’s gauche, déclassé and just wrong they say. I disagree. There’s gold on them thar buffet tables! If you’re on the FMD this holiday season, here are three ways prospecting the buffet table can make your weight loss journey more prosperous for you:

#1 – Take It To Go

“Vegetables will come in handy on any FMD phase but stock up for Phase 2.”

In Phase 2 you want your body to lay down muscle and scavenge fats. Because vegetables are key to converting protein into muscle, stuff your to-go baggie with all the leftover broccoli, celery, jicama, cucumbers, cauliflower and peppers you find on the table. Bring them to work the next day and nosh when you get hungry. Add them to your salad. Pile them into your Phase 2 omelet. Go to town!

If your party host ends up with an entire bowl of salad that they don’t know what to do with, volunteer to take it off their hands. I love to use leftover salad greens as a base for smoothies or in my FMD Phase 1, 2, or 3 Shakes! You can also add them to your soups or your slow cooker meals.

#2 – Focus On Foods That Heal

“The fruit platter is a gift to your adrenals.”

You will see many of the fruits from the Phase 1 and Phase 3 food lists on the buffet table. Strawberries, kiwi, pineapple, oranges, cherries, blackberries, raspberries, figs, apples, papaya, take your pick. Whatever you see there remember it’s everything your adrenals need to make them happy.

While everyone else is clamoring to take cookies, cake or pie home, load your to go baggie with all the fruit your host can spare. Put them in the freezer and use them as a Crash Stash snack in Phase 1. Or add them to your breakfast Oatmeal Fruit Smoothie. If you’re on Phase 3, blend the fruit with nuts to make a delicious, creamy smoothie. Or make yourself a special treat like sorbet!

“Turn those protein sources into a week’s worth of meals.”

The centerpiece of any holiday party is often a large protein source like a roast, a turkey or even chicken. But before your host brings out the main dish, there may also be deli meats around as appetizers.

Whether it’s leftovers from the main course or other protein nibbles, whatever your host has left over should definitely make it into your to go bag. You can add the protein to your vegetables to make a stir-fry, place it in a salad, in soups, tacos and so much more. And let’s not forget how taking these leftover proteins can be beneficial to your wallet as well! The prices at the deli counter are sometimes jaw-dropping.

# 3 – Have A Grand Ole Time

‘Tis the season to celebrate and enjoy yourself. At the next holiday party, don’t approach the buffet table with fear and loathing. Instead, eyeball it for what it can do for you. If, by chance, one of those sweet treats finds its way into a to-go baggie as well, don’t stress about it. Just have fun!