It sounds counterintuitive to eat, but if you eat before going to a party where there will be food you will be less tempted to eat “unknown” foods at a party. Some trail mix at home is more likely to set you on the right path than a platter of cheese dip and other snacks. This is especially important if the food promises to be substantial. Eat normally throughout the day.
2. Drink Wisely
Some equate a party with a glass of something strong. But not drinking alcohol does not make you a party pooper. You can drink non-alcoholic beverages and still have lots of fun. Avoid sugary sodas and a heavy load of alcohol with simple club soda and a little juice. Then hydrate. Put a glass of sparkling water in one a nice glass in one hand and sparkling juice in the other. This way you don’t tempt yourself with appetizers as readily, and you won’t be inebriated with a pint of whisky. Alcohol has a tendency to dehydrate and confuse people.
3. Eat What You can Speak
If you cannot pronounce it, don’t eat it. Pick something from the party spread that is recognizable as real food: like fruit & vegetables. Check out shrimp, fish, bean dips, and chicken among the appetizers. Go light on cheeses and meats if you want to be trim.
4. Enjoy the Vegetables
With veggies you can cut back on calories without sacrificing flavor. These foods are filled with lots of fiber and essential nutrients, offering health benefits that lead to weight loss, anti-aging properties, disease-fighting, and immunity boosting.
5. Select Delicious Food
If you plan the party, don’t make people choose between healthy or delicious food. Choose fresh produce for maximum flavor, then supplement with herbs, spices, and other ingredients to add texture. Use vegetable base dips like pico de gallo or homemade guacamole. Amp up the flavor of nuts with a little sweet & spicy coating, but let a little go a long ways.
6. It’s about the People.
It’s not how much you eat or drink, but how much you enjoy your time. Parties are for people, not for platters of food. If you have difficulty socializing, make a game of befriending people. Think of questions to ask ahead of time: About work, family and personal background. Find common interests and build on those. Smile and enjoy people smiling at you.
7. An Attitude of Gratitude.
One way to avoid over-eating is to think about what you are eating and how it got to your plate. Consider everything from the sun and soil to the sandwich or snacks in your hand. How did they harvest the plants? How did the food get from farming to the party? Before you eat, observe the shapes and colors of the food. When you eat, try to figure out what went into the flavors. All that makes you think you’d rather not eat something, it may be best not to eat it.
8. Minimize Standing and Eating
It’s so easy to lose track of all those cracker, cheese and sausage appetizers and the refreshing scoops of ice cream while immersed in conversation, pop in hand, or those handfuls of salty mixed nuts snuck in each time you refilled your drink. You can improve your willpower not just by eating something, but also by waiting until dinner is finally served.
For casual parties, nothing is wrong with adding something active to the agenda. Head out for a long walk, soccer or basketball, and then come back to a big pot of vegetable soup and salad for lunch. Pack a healthy snack and spend the afternoon on a hike or bike ride. Then return for a snack.
10. Remember, Tomorrow is a New Day
With the drinks, chips and chocolate before dinner, aromas from the kitchen can make it hard to resist temptation when dining with friends. But skipping breakfast the next day to spend three hours burning off the prior night’s feast, becoming famished (only to overdose on a giant chicken salad sandwich, chips, and a brownie) isn’t smart. If you eat too much, be thankful. Then eat smaller portions the next day. Small, balanced meals every three or four hours, and lots of water flush your system. You can still get your greens in after the party.