When you are watching your weight, a party can be particularly challenging. But it’s a party – and supposed to be fun! It’s tough to resist taking those tempting treats from the tray. Keep in mind – it’s not your home kitchen, and you can’t see the nutrition label for calories content. And if it’s a buffet, most people can bid portion control goodbye.
A party invites celebration and entertainment, and much to most dieters’ dismay, weight gain too. But arm yourself with these tips and you’ll find out how easy it is to stay food-savvy at parties.
Eight Ways to Stay Food Savvy at Parties
1. Take the Day – When you eat a healthy breakfast and lunch that contain lean protein, you are less likely to overindulge at party o’clock. Make sure you don’t try to bank calories, as this will make you hungrier and less able to control what foods you eat later. Eat the right foods at the right time, and that way you will feel completely capable of controlling which food you choose to sample at the party.
2. Sample Strategically – Survey the whole buffet before you choose. Tunnel vision won’t serve you well when it’s focused on that pile of potato salad. Skim the whole line, and decide which foods to fill your plate with, and which ones to take a sample and no more.
3. Location, Location, Location – If you are parked right near the birthday cake, you are more likely to have an extra serving, sometimes without thinking. Try setting up shop near the fruit section.
4. Make a Savvy Choice – First, find a lean protein like chicken skewers or shrimp cocktail, or lean beef strips. Then hunt for veggies and fruit. If you do choose to have a side serving of starch, make it a fiber rich one, like hummus with whole grain chips.
5. Slow Down! – If you are so fast that you finish two plates before your neighbor has served their first, it’s sort of rude. Slow down and savor the foods, instead of gobbling your fare down quickly.
6. Palm sized Portions– If you follow the palm portion, and don’t take a serving of any high-calorie food larger than your palm (minus your fingers) you will be able to sample plenty of different foods.
7. Ease up on Alcohol– Have a party drink only after you have finished eating. Once you switch over to liquid calories, don’t go back to eating. Try to limit the high-calorie cocktails, and instead choose simple drinks like vodka and soda, or gin and tonic. Turn up the tang with a twist of lime.
8. Party Performer– Put your spotlight on the party and people. That’s really the focus, not food. Take a game or recent pictures of your vacation to easily slip into conversation. Ask other people where their ideal vacation would be. You’ll be partaking of satisfaction other than food, and watching your waistline too.