8 TIPS FOR EATING HEALTHY AT SOCIAL GATHERINGS
April is here, and even though it is not summer yet, the party season is beginning. The warmer weather and longer days are perfect for social gatherings-weddings, graduations, cookouts, family parties and gatherings with friends. However, eating healthy or sticking to a diet can be challenging in these environments. By following the tips below, you will stay on track with your diet and still have a great time out!
DON’T GET TOO HUNGRY
When you get too hungry, you start to crave more food, eat too fast and end up making the wrong food choices and eating too much of them. Before you go to a party or an event, eat something. I recommend lean protein, a healthy fat or some vegetables.
BRING A DISH
Going to a social gathering where there is only food high in saturated fat or refined carbs can make it tough to stay on track with your fitness goals. The good news is that you can add a healthy option by offering to bring dish. Not only will the host appreciate the thought but you will be able to eat a dish that fits within your diet. It’s a win-win situation!
USE A SMALL PLATE
Instead of overfilling a large plate or using no plate at all, use a small plate and place the food on it before you dig in. This will help you see how much you are truly eating.
SURVEY THE FOOD
To prevent overindulging from wanting to try a little of everything, walk around to see what food is available first. Then decide your top food choices (pick 2-3 items) and fill your plate only with these options.
DON’T GIVE IN TO FOOD PUSHERS
Whether it is the host or family member, there will always be a person who will push food or drinks at you during social gatherings. Holding a glass of water at all times and having a small plate with vegetables will ensure them that you are taken care of.
STEP AWAY FROM THE TEMPTING FOOD
When you are surround by food at social gatherings, it is so easy to mindlessly eat. And I know if you are parked directly across from your favorite dish, you are going to be tempted to go back for seconds (or thirds!). Instead, try to sit away from the food or at least near a more healthy dish. Also, focus on the social aspect of the event and try to talk and mingle to distract yourself from the food.
LIMIT THE ALCOHOL
If you are drinking alcohol, be careful about how much you have and when you have it. Throughout a long night, it is easy to have a few glasses (or more) over the period of a few hours. You might think, “What’s only a few drinks?” Well, those few drinks hit you with a lot of calories before you even start eating your meal and can cause you to eat larger portions because alcohol stimulates appetite.
EAT HEALTHY MOST OF THE WEEK
If you eat healthy and follow your diet during the week, you will be able to relax a little more when you are at social gatherings. Enjoy the food that is being served, keep your portions in check and then get back to the grind the next day.