Don't sacrifice your metabolism to the office party!

We posted these tips last year, but they bear repeating: If you’re trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle and feed your metabolism with fresh, whole foods, an impending holiday office party can throw a big wrench in your progress. You'll be tempted with a huge buffet of food, plus an open bar at one end and the dessert table at the other. Fortunately, there are some practical steps you can take, and none of them involve skipping dessert!

The annual party doesn’t have to sink your efforts

Indulging in a fun night with coworkers isn’t cause for stress, which screws up your metabolism even more than a piece of cake now and then. Follow these tips, and your body will be primed, prepped, and ready—and you won’t find yourself binging.

    • Consume your usual healthy meals and snacks throughout the day of the party. A big mistake is starving yourself all day. Eat sensible, regular meals and snacks of whole fruits, lean protein, and fresh veggies. This keeps your metabolism stable and your blood sugar normal. You’ll arrive feeling happy, relaxed, and ready to enjoy the company.
    • Drink plain water all day. As always, drink half your body weight in ounces of water throughout the day. That way, your body will be better prepared to process the extra food you’ll probably eat.
    • At the party, first go for a protein-containing appetizer, like cocktail shrimp, deviled eggs or hummus with veggies. This little trick primes your metabolism and helps slow the delivery of sugar to your bloodstream.
    • If you have an alcoholic drink, go for the good stuff. Organic, sulfite-free wine and top-shelf clear liquors are easier for your body to process than the cheap junk. Avoid frat-party-style booze with food coloring, a caffeine jolt, etc. Drink an extra 8 ounces of water for every alcoholic drink. It’s best to stop after just one drink — alcohol never helps your metabolism, but lots of alcohol really kills it.
    • Relax and have fun. This helps your body melt fat. Remember, stress and anxiety about anything—including food—make your body think there’s a real emergency going on and fat-burning screeches to a halt. In fact, your body starts hoarding fat against whatever disaster or famine may strike.

Having a good time is GOOD

Happily, pleasure fires up your metabolism too. When you’re happy, you’re flooding your body with endorphins, feel-good hormones that nudge your thyroid gland to crank out more fat-burning hormones—and lower another hormone, leptin, which makes you feel hungry.  So don’t skip the office party. Follow these tips and enjoy!