A Survival Guide for Dieting at Social Events
Dining out with friends can spell disaster unless you’re ultra-savvy. You don’t have to choose between your diet and events involving food. Since this is one of the most important topics to our clients, we asked our experts to “weigh in”.
Here are their top 5 social dining hacks:
1. Eat First, Eat Twice:
Eat your planned meal BEFORE your social event. Dieters usually eat less before events thinking they’re offsetting extra calories at the party – this is a big mistake. Showing up hungry is a recipe for dieting disaster. You’ll eat far fewer calories if you eat a healthy meal before arriving — then eat a second light meal (selected hunger-free) at the event.
You read right. Our experts say, “bring alcohol,” – just not beer. You’ve probably figured out that hard alcohol mixed with calorie-free beverages is a trick dieters use. The trouble is you never know what drinks will be served at your next dinner party. Eliminate the variable. Bring vodka and your favorite calorie-free beverage. Besides, who wants to show up to a party empty-handed?
3. Portable Snacks FTW:
Going out for the whole day? Bring snacks! Dieters know the importance of healthy snacks – they just don’t think about “portable” snacks. Your healthy snacks are only as good as they are portable. We love cottage cheese and berries – but they don’t travel well. Try nuts, jerky, peanut butter packs, rice cakes, and really small apples. If it fits in a zip-lock bag (and keeps overnight without refrigeration), we approve.
4. Sample, Don’t Pile:
For buffet-style spreads, place a small portion of several things on your plate instead of holding up the line to figure out your best options. Being selective after you leave the buffet line will go unnoticed.
5. Prep a go-bag:
The reason “go-bags” work is because they’re prepared before emergencies happen. Same principle for a “food go-bag.” Remember those portable (and low perishable) snacks? Place the snacks in a bag you can grab when running out the door.
When you’re working hard to get yourself into shape or striving to reach your desired health goals, it's important to formulate a strategy to navigate social situations. Beat the system and stick to your diet with our time-tested tricks.