You can stay on top of your diet when you’re at home, but when you’re a guest at someone else’s house for a party, things can get a little tricky. Tables piled high with platters of deep-fried treats and sugary sweets can be enticing, and finger foods can cause you to easily lose track of how much you’re eating.
However, if you’re headed to a big party soon, have no fear: You can enjoy yourself without messing up your diet. Here are some tips and strategies for staying on track with your healthy eating plan while at a party:
Follow your regular diet the day of the party
You may think that it’s a good idea to fast before the party so you can fill up while you’re at the event, but this strategy often backfires. Fasting in this way can slow down your metabolism, cause your blood sugar levels to spike and can make you ravenous while you’re at the party, leading you to ultimately overeat while you’re there. Instead, follow your regular diet the day of the party to make sure you stay in control of your appetite.
Eat a protein- and fiber-packed snack before you leave
Shortly before you leave your house, eat a healthy snack packed with protein and fiber, two nutrients that help you feel full. This way, you won’t arrive hungry to the party, ready to eat everything in sight. Some good snack ideas are a low-calorie and low-sugar granola bar, string cheese and an apple or peanut butter spread on whole-grain bread.
Scope out the offerings
The Huffington Post recommends taking a lap around the party space once you arrive to see what food is being offered. This way, you can strategize your eating plan for the evening. You can identify one of two things that you want to indulge in, and then note the lighter snacks that can take up the rest of your place.
Be conscious of portion size
Certain foods can be sneakily unhealthy. One big offender is creamy dips – whether paired with veggies or chips, they’re often packed with mayonnaise and sour cream, equaling lots of fat. This doesn’t mean you have to avoid them entirely, but be conscious of how much you’re consuming. Just one tablespoon of dip can contain many grams of fat and a lot of calories, and people often eat much more than that when mindlessly dipping veggies while engaged in a conversation.
Savor your snacks
With all the excitement going on at a party, it’s easy to lose track of how much you’re eating. That’s why RealSimple magazine advises focusing on the flavors and sensations of your snacks. It also recommends putting your plate of food down while you’re talking with someone and then resuming when you’re finished with your conversation so the calories don’t get away from you.
Often when you feel hungry, your body is really just thirsty. Drink water frequently throughout the party to stay hydrated and prevent overeating.
Parties can be lots of fun, but not when they lead to guilt. Follow the tips above to stay on track with your diet while socializing at an event.