Millions of party-minded Americans will be hitting the backyard barbecue circuit this summer. These food-heavy gatherings pose special obstacles to the health-minded dieter.
So, other than staying home, how do you escape dietary damage at a summer party?
Cut your teeth on these four tips.
1. Arrive late, leave early
The more time you spend around food the more food you’re gonna eat. It’s simple human nature.
Add alcohol to the mix and say goodbye to your diet resolve.
So unless you must stay put from start to finish, shoot for a two-hour window smack in the middle of the festivities. And do yourself a favor, by eating healthy before you head out to the party.
You can also try portion control and fill half your plate with steamed, grilled or broiled veggies.
2. Keep a low-cal drink in your dominant hand
It may sound odd but you will eat less if you have to fumble for food with your off hand. So righties, stay tighty with your grasp. Lefties, don’t be so loosy with yours!
Okay, so you don’t need a drink in your dominant hand. But wouldn’t you look a little foolish carting a baseball around all day?
3. Go nuts
Most parties feature raw veggies and dips, but you can’t be sure you’ll find them at a bash thrown by your wilder, beer-loving friends. So, you can either bring a veggie plate with enough to share or you can bring a gift they’ll be sure to go nuts over — a large can of lightly salted or no-salt nuts!
Better yet… bring both! Then, after you fill up on raw veggies, toss back a handful of nuts and wait at least 20 minutes before you eat anything else.
The waiting may be the hardest part but after 20 minutes your stomach and willpower are back in sync and you should feel satisfied from all that roughage.
4. Socialize first, chow down second
Remember, you were invited to the party because people like you and want to catch up on things. You weren’t invited to wolf down six burgers and a rack of ribs.
Eating has become an accepted way of socializing and most social events feature food… yummy, high-fat, high-calorie food. But it turns out we tend to interact more with others when we’re not eating!
Think about it: It’s tough to shoot the breeze with a buddy when your mouth is full of food.
So when you’re at a summer party get your pleasure from chatting with friends rather than chewing on goodies.