“Small cheer and great welcome makes a merry feast.” – William Shakespeare
Tis the season, I have three parties this week and I had two last week. That’s a lot of eating out and food that is out of my immediate control. It is possible to enjoy the party stay on track and not feel deprived.
A not so favorite piece of advice: “Eat a meal before you go and you won’t be tempted by the food there.” Really? Does this work for you? I get to the party and see food I really love and think oh, well I’ll only have a little of this and that, after these tastes I’ve had another meal. Nope, that doesn’t work out so well for me.
My other least favorite trick is to not eat so that you “save up” for the dinner. By the time the party comes you’re irritable, if not downright mean, and you’re starving so you start hoovering up everything in sight. Including foods that you may never eat if you weren’t so hungry. (and this flies in the face of all the food mood articles I’ve shared with you).
So what’s a person to do? Eat healthy normal meals during the day and have a small snack before you go to the party so you aren’t famished. A handful of nuts, some trail mix or fruit are all good quick choices.
Once at the party pick the foods that you enjoy, sit down to eat and savor them. If you want dessert pick something small and enjoy it. If small portions aren’t available have a few bites and give it to someone else or toss it. No starving children will be saved by you cleaning the plate.
Then go and talk to people. Mingle, keep yourself busy and find ways to stay away from the food. Say you’ll go eat after you talk to Tom and then start talking to Sue right after that. The less you focus on the food the better time you will have anyway.
A final tip, alternate your drinks with water so you’ll consume less. Go easy on the mixers as they tend to have a lot of sugar and added calories. Stick with club soda or seltzer as a mixer with a splash of juice for taste/color. I do that and then switch to seltzer with lime.
One favorite piece of advice that I received: this food will be available again. If it is something you truly only get once a year by all means eat it. When it’s something you are going to see at the next party two days later it isn’t so special.
About the Author: Janine McHale is a certified holistic health counselor and the owner of The Empowered Plate. She empowers busy women and runners to reach their goals of weight loss, better nutrition, stress management and more energy via nutrition and lifestyle tweaks. Need help with preparing quick healthy meals for yourself and/or your family? Send her an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org!