1. Start the day with a healthy breakfast
If I’m going out in the evening, I’ll start the day with a generous bowl of porridge, topped with a handful of cranberries and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Porridge stabilises blood sugar levels, which helps control appetite later in the day. I also add a good dollop of probiotic yogurt, which helps support the immune system and promote digestive health, as well as combat some of the less beneficial effects of the party season, like too much alcohol and not enough sleep.
2. Stay hydrated
On the day of a big night out, and the day after, I make a conscious effort to drink six-eight glasses of water, or plenty of herbal teas or diluted juice. Even mild dehydration can lead to a headache and combined with the diuretic effects of alcohol, makes maintaining your fluid intake so important. Regular teas and coffee count towards your fluid intake, but caffeinated versions shouldn’t make up your full quota. I sometimes struggle to drink enough when it’s cold, so I’ll take a full glass of water to bed with me at night and start the day with a second. I make sure I’ve drunk both before I have my breakfast.
3. Include healthy and well-timed snacks
If I’m hungry when I arrive at a party, I struggle to resist the canapés, so I always have a pre-party snack. One of my favourites is a small pot of plain yogurt with a sliced banana. The yogurt’s protein slows stomach emptying, which helps delay the effects of that first glass of wine while the potassium-rich banana helps balance any increase in my salt intake – especially helpful if I’m going to be nibbling on olives, crisps or salted nuts. I know I’m better off eating before I go to a party because I’m more likely to stick to my resolve when the canapés come round a second or third time. Other snacks which do the trick include granary toast with nut butter, a bowl of muesli with milk, or a mug of chunky vegetable soup.
4. Make healthier choices at party buffets
Buffets can be a disaster zone, so I make sure I fill half my plate with salad and vegetables, and the rest with protein-based canapés like salmon and chicken. I take my time selecting and eating my food and I move away from the table as soon as my plate is full so I avoid non-stop grazing. Discover more top tips for making healthy food choices at parties and our best healthier canapé ideas.