June is here! Yay!
This time of year we are bombarded with sunshine, warm temperatures, humidity and every type of party imaginable. Graduation parties, weddings, bon fires, deck parties, cook outs, fairs, concerts, Brewers games, and the “just because” get- togethers all dot my calendar from June-September.
It is always so much fun to see friends and family, and have the dates on the calendar, but man oh man this time of year can wreak havoc on your beach body. Of course every party has the typical fare and it is all delicious, and many include adult beverages that can be a double whammy for your health and waistline.
It can be a challenge to keep up with your health goals when it comes to parties and tables of food. You may feel that social pressure to eat what everyone else is eating, and you certainly don’t want to be “THAT” person who is on a “diet” at the party (cue stink eye…).
I believe that health and wellness is a choice, but I also believe life is too short to say no to cake every once in awhile. By making a plan and arming yourself with a few tricks that I use, you can help keep yourself moving towards your goals and on the right path for you!
Graduation parties and summer get-togethers are usually “foodie havens” with a smorgasbord of delicious options. One of the best pieces of advice I have been given is to allow yourself to try 4-5 (or the number you set, within reason) of the dishes. Yes, you read that right. Now, I’m saying “try”; not “devour” or “heap” on your plate. Take a small portion of the dishes that sounds good to you and will leave you feeling satisfied—you don’t want to deprive yourself and the small portions won’t pack on the calories as fast.
Every party usually has a veggie tray and/or fresh fruit salad. One tactic I use is to load most of my plate up with the healthy stuff, which ultimately leaves less room for the more unhealthy cuisine. My plate looks full so it tricks my brain/stomach into thinking that I’m getting a really good deal (which in reality, I am!).
Plate size is also a topic of discussion. The bigger the plate—the more food you can cram on, right? This can be a dangerous mindset! I usually will grab one of the small plates, and will take less portions of the food because I want to be able to try multiple dishes. Just like the last paragraph, it is a mind-trickery using the small plates and realizing you are actually full!
A danger zone at parties is the hors dourves table, and I will usually try and position myself away from that warzone. Although that table is a hot spot and mingling area, it usually has more of the ‘finger foods’ and ‘grabbable’ cuisine that can pack on the calories quickly. Another tactic I use is holding a bottle or glass of water that keeps my hands occupied so I am not able to or tempted to keep grabbing from the munchies bowl.
Last but not least, in addition to aiming for the vegetables and fruit, I will scope out the protein sources they have at the party. Typically, there are not quinoa burgers and marinated tofu for me (unless my mom is hosting), but if a party has lean meats such as chicken, pork, or shrimp, that is a great option that will offer a lower calorie count, but will keep you feeling satisfied.
There’s no reason to avoid a party because you are fearful of getting off track, or to come to the party and decide that you’re going to put aside your health and wellness goals and conquer the buffet table. Taking a moment to think about the choices you’re about to make, and realize that you will feel much better leaving the party if you stick with your guns and keep on track. If you do decide to overindulge, and it’s very easy to do, remind yourself that it is ok, and you can start again the next hour, or the next day. Adding an extra exercise session the day of the get together or the day after will keep your metabolism moving, and the pounds off.
Until next time friends!