This topic is near and dear to my heart. Last year, over the holidays I had gained 2 pounds between Christmas and New Years. Then shortly thereafter, I went to a dinner party, and a Super Bowl party all within a week or two and gained another 2 pounds. So as soon as I lost my first 2 pounds, I had to do it all over again. I am one that has not been to a lot of parties outside of the ones associated with the holidays, so I had not acquired enough “practice” in going to parties to develop a weight gain avoidance strategy.
As far as the day-to-day eating is concerned, I have studied my habits and learned out to plan my eating and have my food in reserve so as to not get caught off-guard and blow my maintenance diet. This past holiday season of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s, I was able to maintain without gaining! So with the Super Bowl around the corner, it makes me reflect on how we can avoid overeating and gaining weight at parties and social events that have tempting food.
Just like being able to navigate through a day’s temptations and making the best choices takes practice, practice is also needed in developing proper habits when going to parties. So how does one remain in control while going to cocktail parties, dinner parties and Super Bowl parties? Here are 5 tips to keep your eating under control at a party.
- Treat the party fare as your meal. If you are planning to go to the party to eat, whether you eat 300, 400 or 500 calories for your meal, choose your selections accordingly and stop, just as you would if you were at home.
- Eat before you leave home. If you don’t trust yourself to make the best selections or you know that the cuisine is highly caloric or will contain nothing on your diet, then eat before you leave home. If you are full when you go, then you can spend your time talking and socializing rather than balancing a plate and a glass of wine.
- Check out all of the dishes before making your choices. Survey the territory and choose your best options. Eat sensibly as you would at home. Go for the protein and raw veggies, whatever will fill you up the most. Obviously a half a bowl of chips and salsa is a choice that won’t fill you up for very long and will send you way over a reasonable calorie limit to boot. Remember your portion control!
- Limit your alcohol intake. Not only does alcohol add extra calories quickly, but even just a smidge can lower your inhibitions and keep you reaching for things on to munch on. Just be sure and budget for the calories for the wine, beer or any drink that contains calories.
- Keep track of what you eat. Be mindful of what you are eating and plan in advance when you should stop. Stay away from the bar or the appetizer table. At a Super Bowl party, move as far away from the food as possible to still see the TV. Be mindful of what you are doing and don’t mimic those who are woofing down wings when the score is close. At a cocktail party, make your selection and go to another part of the room to chat with others, as it is way too easy to graze from the table while in the middle of conversation. Plan to nurse slowly 1 glass of wine or 1 beer and drink club soda with lemon or lime after that. Be ultra aware so that you can put the brakes on when needed!
As with any other eating scenario, the best thing to do is to think about it in advance and to develop your own plan of defense ahead of time. Realize that you are stepping into a situation where it is easy to lose control and govern yourself accordingly. Keep yourself from the path of temptation!
For those of you who are thinking that steps above would just make a party seem really dull, then please realize that if you let it all hang out at the parties that you go to now, then you might not like the way you look come bathing suit season. Ouch, that hurt, didn’t it? I’m sorry, but please remember, what you do today, affects what you become tomorrow, and Fit and Fabulous wants you to look and feel your very best!