Do you try to eat healthy most of the time and then struggle at family get-togethers or holiday parties? It can be challenging, but with a few simple strategies you can successfully navigate any event without throwing your healthy lifestyle off track!
1. Don't go to any social event overly hungry.
It's ok to have some appetite because you know there will be tasty options, but you don't want to be starving and temporarily lose focus on your long term goals. Everyone has a tendency to make less optimal choices when they are very hungry (remember don't grocery shop hungry either.) Having a snack with some fiber before you go to a party is a great strategy. Some ideas are berries, nuts, or whole wheat crackers with some low-fat cheese.
2. Stick to special items you wouldn't typically eat.
Wasting empty calories on chips or dip you could eat anytime won't make you enjoy the event. Think of your calories as a budget and spend wisely on specialty foods like shrimp puffs or pate.
3. Look for the veggies!
Many times there is a crudite platter and eating a small plate of carrots, celery, or broccoli will get you off to a great start. After that go for the higher calorie, higher fat options if you still want them.
4. Be thoughtful about alcoholic beverages.
Any drink mixed with soda or juice provides extra calories and sugar. A safer bet might be wine or a cocktail mixed with club soda or tonic. Add a glass of water in between each alcoholic beverage to help slow down the calorie intake and to keep dehydration at bay.
5. Fruit is your friend.
Instead of a heavy dessert, go for fruit or a fruit-based dessert if available. These tend to be lower in calories.
6. Focus on the fun!
You'll think less about the food if you are enjoying spending time and celebrating with family and friends.