Smart Eating at Parties and Picnics
When festive events tempt you with elaborate treats, it's easy to leave your weight goals at home -- ignoring them like unwelcome party guests. But by using smart eating techniques, you'll realize that you can enjoy the festivities and the food, and leave the weight gain to someone else.
- Add movement to your day. Stand and move around rather than sit. Bring a baseball and mitt, soccer ball, or Frisbee to add to the fun. And ask someone to dance or go for a stroll with you.
- Enjoy a caloric beverage such as wine, beer or soda pop. But limit yourself to one or two, then call it quits and switch to a non-caloric beverage.
- Pick and choose what hors d'oeuvres you eat. Enjoy one or two high-fat tidbits, but mostly lighter ones such as fruits and vegetables.
- Learn to step away from the food. Don't hang around the table, continuing to nibble through the event. Serve yourself and enjoy your food, but walk away and don't go back.
- Talk with people when eating. This will force you to eat more slowly and help keep your mind off the food.
- Plan your food for the day around the event. And if you're not expecting to find smart food choices, have a light, healthy snack or meal before the event so you don't rely on the food that's there to fill you up.
Use these smart eating techniques at your next party or picnic and you'll be surprised how you can enjoy the festivities without gaining weight or feeling deprived.
Megan Porter, RD