Are you already dreading that baby shower, wedding reception, birthday party or company picnic because you know that there will be a ton of unhealthy food around? Do you often eat things that you don’t want because you don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings or be the “odd one out”?
For as long as time, social gatherings and food have been paired together. Food, along with alcohol are the most pervasive complements to social gatherings. While social eating pressure may be greater during holidays, it is always a challenge to figure out how you can avoid overeating or eating the wrong things when you are amongst friends, family and lots of food!
Yes, it is true, one piece of birthday cake or a pasta dinner will not sabotage your entire healthy eating plan. However, it is possible that you may have an adverse reaction to certain foods that you have not been eating.
For instance, if you have not been consuming any sugar and all of a sudden you shock your system with cake and ice cream, you will definitely feel the effects of the sugar assault.
Here are five ways to avoid overeating at social functions while not drawing attention to yourself:
Don’t Go to the Event on an Empty Stomach
If you go to a social function on an empty stomach, you are asking for trouble. Eat a small snack such as an apple and a piece of cheese, or a handful of raw nuts and an orange, before you go. You could even whip up a green smoothie to keep you full. Having a full stomach will keep you from going back to the buffet over and over again.
Choose the Healthiest Options
If you have options, choose the best ones for your health. Stick to fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and salad, if possible. There is no harm in filling up on healthy foods, especially fresh vegetables. Just go easy on the spreads and dips unless you know what is in them. Many of these may contain hydrogenated oils and other artificial ingredients that you do not need.
Take your time to eat whatever you put on your plate. Be sure to chew each bite at least twenty times and really think about what you are eating, The only way your stomach will signal the brain that it is full is if you eat slowly. Mindful eating will save you from overeating.
Bring Your Own
If you are attending a small family gathering, don’t be afraid to bring along your own food. You may catch a little ribbing at first, but stick to your plan and bring what you are comfortable eating. This way, you can still enjoy the company and the gathering but do not have to feel stressed about eating food that compromises your health.
Keeping yourself busy chatting with friends or dancing will take your mind off of the food, and you will be more likely to eat less. Move away from food tables so that you are not enticed. Dancing is also great exercise and will help you burn off any excess calories that you may consume.
Don’t forgo a chance to be with friends and family, and don’t make food your enemy. It is possible to have a great time while watching your waistline.
-The Alternative Daily