Avoiding the Holiday Party Hangover

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending an office Christmas party. Today I have the displeasure of trying to shake the cobwebs accompanying my first hangover of the holiday season.

As I reminisce about the food and drinks I consumed, all I can say is … WHAT WAS I THINKING?!

I was barely in the room when I found a cup of vodka-based punch in my hand. I followed that up with plenty of conversation and a few cups of a second punch … this one rum-based.

I made a fatal error by avoiding the healthier food offerings at the start of the party. It was full speed ahead – or more like FOOL speed ahead – for this partygoer.

I soon turned my attention to an oversized bucket of assorted beers.

Mixing liquor with beer is never a good idea, but my inhibitions were long gone so I drank on … and on … and on.

It was about this time that I decided to attack the buffet. By now the pickings were slim so I wolfed down a few slices of sausage pizza and a plate of chicken wings.

I had become the poster child for what NOT to do at a holiday party.

If I could rewind the tape and do it all over again, I’d have started at home with a light healthy dinner suggested by my MealPlanMap.com program. And once the 7 p.m. party started I would have steered clear of the punch.

It’s not the booze that kills a diet (just a few brain cells). No, it’s the mixers that do you in. Fruit-based punches are jam-packed with sugar calories.

A vodka and diet tonic or a rum and Diet Coke would have been far better choices. And I should have stuck to one poison, not a toxic cocktail of liquors and beers.

I did try to stick to light beer but the bucket of brews was kind of like a grab bag so for every lower-cal beer I had one full-strength one.

Most of us go to parties with the best of intentions. But drinking has a way of chipping away at our resolve to be good. Suddenly, you’re overcome with crazy thoughts like “I really NEED that seventh chicken wing!” or “A fifth slice of pizza won’t hurt!”

So if you find yourself at a festive gathering, please do as I say not as I do and have a good time enjoying your friends rather than the stiff drinks and belt-tightening treats.

Not sure what to drink? Here are a few good choices:

Red wine: Low calories PLUS heart benefits!

Light beer: Some pack a mere 64 calories per 12 ounces!

Single-shot drinks with diet mixers: Just be sure to sip not slurp, and limit yourself to just a few!

Wine spritzers: Because they’re half-white wine, half-club soda they contain 50 percent fewer calories!

Water: Drinking a glass of water between beverages will not only cut down on the calories you consume but will also help ward off that next-day hangover!

Party on … but party on wisely! Your stomach and your head will thank you.

Now, where’s my Tums and aspirin?



John McGran has been writing about health and weight loss for several national companies since 2000. He brings his knowledge of diets — and his passion for dropping pounds — to Meal Plan Map because he believes it is the future of smart, stress-free eating and improved health.


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