More than gifts and celebrations, the holidays are about food.
More often than not, that food is delicious, seasonal, and wildly unhealthy. People tend to indulge most at holiday office parties as these treats are usually on the company’s dime and not directly out of your pocket.
But business owners and employees alike should pump the brakes and make healthy eating a priority this holiday season.
Why Eat Healthy?
While office holiday parties may signal the end of the work year and beginning of vacation, for many people there are still end of the year tasks that need completing in the days or week to come.
When you overindulge and don’t eat healthy, that can hinder your overall performance and productivity.
According to a study done by the University of Melbourne, things like drinking alcohol before bed may make you feel drowsy but you’re actually getting a worse night’s sleep.
So while those martinis at the work party may have helped fuel your good time, they can get in the way of that restorative sleep you need to finish any last minute, leftover assignments.
‘How Can You Eat Healthy?’
Contrary to your cravings, it can be done. This isn’t a rhetorical question.
Even though there may be sugary temptations around every corner (or on every co-worker’s desk) during the holiday season, there are ways to stay on track.
1.) Choose Real Food
According to the piece, “Expert Interview with Krista Butler on Healthy Eating”, you should be consuming food that’s “whole food.”
She explains that this means simple foods like fruits, vegetables, and meats. “Real food” that great-great grandparents would be able to recognize if they could have time-traveled to this year’s holiday party.
2.) Be Drink Savvy
You can also be cognizant of your alcohol intake by limiting the number of drinks you consume or make sure not to overdo it with overly sugary concoctions like spiked eggnog.
Other easy to follow tips include making sure to drink plenty of water during the office holiday party.
This will keep you hydrated, leave you feeling fuller, and with a beverage in hand, make it less likely for co-workers to push unhealthy drinks onto you.
How Can Businesses Keep It Healthy?
1.) Smart Catering
Clean, healthy eating is on trend and expanding as people become more and more educated on what goes into their processed foods.
This is great news for business owners in terms of finding the right catering for their office holiday parties.
Between healthy food delivery services and local vegan or organic restaurants, there’s always an option for office party planners who want to provide choices for their employees.
Another way that businesses can help their employees and party-goers make healthy eating decisions is by limiting the portion size of the food you’re providing.
Rather than having a large amount of catering served buffet style, it may be both cost effective and healthier to have servers circulate plates of appetizers.
2.) DIY Healthy Options
If your company’s holiday party isn’t catered and is more of a potluck situation, you can encourage employees to put together a list of what they plan on bringing ahead of time.
This will not only ensure that there aren’t five different versions of mac and cheese, but it can encourage people to make healthy dishes if they know there aren’t enough on the menu.
The year may be winding down, but employees and managers alike need to keep up with their health especially around the holidays.
Following these tips can better ensure productivity and make healthy eating an attainable goal even during the most festive of office parties.
About the Author: Kristin Livingstone writes on a variety of topics including healthy eating and party planning.