For many of us, having a family birthday dinner on Sunday, a business event on Tuesday, and a fundraiser on Friday is not an uncommon week. Events with food are always prevalent in our society. As you enter these food situations, often for the first time since losing weight in your diet program, it can be challenging to make good choices. Use this guide to help you set yourself up for success!
Arranging your snack table. Arrange your table in a manner that desserts, chips, and less healthy items are on one side. Place fruits, vegetables, and cheeses are on the opposite side of the table. This way you can approach the table from one direction and gravitate towards the healthier items.
Never arrive hungry. Take the edge off your appetite by eating a piece of fruit, a low-fat yogurt, soup, or a salad before leaving home.
Be polite, but firm, when turning down food. Say “no thank you” or “I’m ok for now, but thank you.” Research has shown that definite statements are better received by others. Be confident in your choices to eat what you would like. Most people will not press the matter if they feel you are adamant about your food choices.
Avoid temptation. When you first enter a room, take note of where the buffet table, bar, and dessert table are and try avoid them. When seated at a restaurant, remove the chips or bread from the center of the table so that they are out of sight. Request a to-go box with your meal, to cut the portion size in half and save for the next day.
Invite a healthy friend. Attend your special event with someone who can support you.
Manage your overall calendar. Schedule time to prepare healthy meals and make exercise a priority. Don’t rely on parties or event to provide you with your nutrition. Take charge by providing your nutritious meal earlier in your day. Provide yourself with a light nutritious breakfast and lunch instead of ‘saving room’ for the evening heavy meal.
Keep a glass of water in your dominant hand. You are less likely to overindulge with your other hand while you are conversing. You are also less likely to be offered a drink if you already have one in your hand.
Know before you go. Check out the menu online. Have 3 options to choose from before you dine out. Choosing a healthy option in the moment can be time consuming. Spend 10 minutes before you arrive finding your meal to make the restaurant experience more enjoyable and relaxing.
Vacation: Take a few healthy snacks with you on your trip. These will make excellent choices while out sightseeing all day.
Remember, one eating event will not wreck your health. It’s more important to consider your eating and exercise habits on most days. Acknowledge that you are making a choice to eat differently at a party or event. No one will remember what you ate or didn’t eat at a family event; they will only remember the time spent together. Make your focus of conversation on time spent and not menu options.