- They stress out and experience anxiety about what they are going to choose to eat. They ask themselves a hundred questions like will there be healthy options, what should I drink, should I bring my own food, or what will people think if I choose the healthier options? These people usually end up not eating anything or very little.
- The second group over indulges, usually because of a "screw it" mentality. They make a couple of less than desirable decisions and just let that domino into a whole bunch of bad decisions.
Here are 5 tips to help you not fall into either of these categories:
- Change your mindset before arriving at a party or event and don't plan on being perfect. Go in with the mindset that you are going to eat or drink a few "unhealthy" things. That way when you do grab that piece of cheesecake or have that cheeseburger on a white bun you don't freak out and fall into category 2.
- If it is just a dinner party or cocktail type event in the evening, focus on making the rest of your day rock solid. Get a healthy breakfast, lunch and couple of snacks in throughout the day. This will help you not binge on everything you see,since you aren't going into the event super hungry. Your body will also have been fed most, if not all, the daily nutrients you need so it won't crave certain types of food. As soon as those cravings kick in, it is a lot harder to say no to the fried mac n cheese balls....I'm talking from personal experience here.
- If there is a buffet type food setup, there are almost always a few healthier options. I always like to scan the buffet and mentally rate the foods. I like to know what my options are before I just start grabbing everything at the beginning of the line. This way once you get to the end you don't have that urge to put extra food on your plate because "you really love chicken" or whatever that item is you can't resist. By figuring out the things you really want to have, you can avoid those items that are just "ok" and avoid overeating.
Another thing in regards to buffet type events is to have a balanced plate. By that I mean try to load up on non-starchy veggies and protein. Most buffet lines usually have hunks of meat and some sort of salad. Try to make those the majority of your plate. If you can avoid the pastas, breads, and rice. I would also encourage you to share a desert with someone.
- Alcohol... Yeah this is a tough one for some to avoid or regulate. If you can do one thing I would encourage you to eat before you start drinking. As we all know alcohol lowers inhibitions and clouds judgement, so if you are 3-4 cocktails deep and then you hit the buffet line, chances are everything I mentioned above is going to go out the window.
I would recommend setting a number of drinks you plan on having ahead of time. If you struggle to say no when someone offers you another drink, I would recommend looking at cutting back in other areas. Alcohol is essentially liquid carbs, so if you are going to be drinking your carbs, avoid eating your carbs.
- Don't be ashamed to make healthy decisions. I'm speaking from personal experience on this point too. It's funny how if you fill half your plate up with salad or eat a hamburger without a bun that you are the "weird" one. I've gotten looks and received comments from friends when I do these types of things, or if it is a potluck event and I bring a quinoa salad. :) I used to let it get to me, and let it make me feel like I didn't fit in. Now, I'm completely OK with being different because I am confident in the decisions that I make. Don't worry friends, if I see you at a party and you are chowing down on brats, french fries, potato chips, and brownies I'm NOT judging...I'm just trying to set an example! There is a better way.
So this weekend...try to implement just one of these things!
It's not about being perfect.
It's about changing little things here and there and changing your mindset!