I gave serious thought to subtitling this piece, “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere.” Just like the song of the same name suggests, there’s always going to be a reason to overindulge if you’re looking for one.
Birthday parties, dinner parties and impromptu get-togethers can be great fun, but when we’re trying to lose weight, these outings can wreak havoc on our efforts to make good food choices. And sometimes we use these social gatherings as justification for eating foods that we normally wouldn’t prepare at home – foods that we know aren’t aligned with our healthy living goals.
Before your next soiree, give some thought to how you’re going to handle the inevitable temptations on the table.
1. Eat a healthy snack before you go.
Avoid going to an event hungry. Managing hunger is a big part of successful weight loss since we all make better food choices when we feel in control.
2. Substitute and scale down.
There’s no reason you can’t have a burger, but make it turkey or a lean bison burger, if that’s an option. One better, skip the bun and wrap your burger in a lettuce leaf.
3. Offer to bring something healthy.
A fresh green salad is always welcome at any function, and bringing something that you know is part of your eating plan means it will be easier to pass on the heavier options that are bound to be on the menu.
4. Be honest with yourself.
The only one who loses when you “cheat” on your healthy eating goals is you. Don’t tell yourself, “Well, it’s a special occasion so I’ll eat what I want today and just eat celery and carrots sticks for the rest of the week.” Chances are you won’t. Instead, choose one or two small “treats,” but make the rest of your choices sensible ones. If you anticipate Aunt Daisy is going to bring her world-famous lemonade cake and you know you’ll want some, skip the chips and dip before the meal.
It’s easy to be side-tracked from healthy eating and to justify the indulgence with the old “it’s a special occasion” excuse.
But permanent weight loss happens when we find ways to make healthy eating a part of every day, even at holidays and special occasions!
Marilyn McKenna speaks publicly and writes about fitness and weight loss. After being morbidly obese for decades, Marilyn lost 120 lbs., transforming her body and her life. She now brings hope to others who are struggling with an approach that is both relative and real.
Marilyn is a guest blogger partnering with The Hartford to share her stories. All opinions are those of Marilyn and do not reflect the opinions of The Hartford. The Hartford does not endorse or have any association with the products and/or services referenced. Always consult your doctor before changing your diet or starting a new exercise regimen.