Let’s face it, it can be a little tough trying to eat healthy and watching your weight when there are summer parties and BBQ’s to attend. While I look forward to the gatherings, I have to admit that I become stressed out about what food is going to be there and whether or not I have the will power to avoid the meat on the grill, the chips, the heavy mayo-based salads, and the cookies, cakes, brownies, popcorn... you name it!
In the past, I would either eat everything in sight and promise myself that I would go back to my healthy eating habits the following day, or I would starve myself and not eat anything and not enjoy the party. So I may be a little slow, but it finally did occur to me that the solution was not only simple, but right under my nose! Why not make myself a filling and delicious NutriBlast before I left my place so I could enjoy the parties without over-indulging in unhealthy foods? I could still enjoy smaller portions and participate in the conversations that undoubtedly begin at the food table.
I have tried this during the holiday season and it works great, so the spouse and I decided to give it a try this past weekend when we had three events to go to. (Don’t be impressed, that’s usually more than we have all year!)
I was determined not to attend these gatherings hungry and the spouse was on board with the idea. A few minutes before we left for each one, we made a heavy duty green NutriBlast. We actually walked into one barbcue with our To-Go cups in hand. Of course, everyone made fun of us, but who cares; we ate less of the bad stuff and didn’t feel guilty afterward.
My recipe for success when it comes to attending those fabulous summer parties is to be proactive and take an extra five minutes to prep your Blast before heading out. You may still eat the food, but chances are you won't eat as much.
Need more help? Here are 5 tips that can help you stay healthy during the summer, when parties, outdoor events and barbecues are all the rage!
1. Drink lots of water.
Did you know that most times when you think you're hungry, you're actually thirsty? Hunger actually comes on gradually, not suddenly, and the same part of the brain that interprets hunger interprets thirst, leading to some confusing signals. One way to avoid overeating? Drink lots of water! Water and other hydrating fluids, like tea, natural lemonades without added sugar and agua frescas, can help you avoid hunger pangs during your next cookout.
2. Have snacks instead of meals.
If you're anything like me, you're tempted to grab two hot dogs and a hamburger patty everytime you walk over to the food table. Don't! It's actually healthier to eat snacks often rather than having 2 or 3 large meals throughout the day (eat something every 4 hours, they say.) So, instead of making a huge dent at the table, start by grabbing small appetizers - fruit, salad, pita bites, - and set your limits. Don't fill up your plate each time you walk over, and remember that it takes your brain about 20 minutes before it knows it's full, so give yourself that much time before heading over for round 2.
3. Write down everything you eat.
I'm a big fan of food journals, but this isn't about tracking calories or carbs, it's about tracking quality and occurence. You're more likely not to go for that third round of chips-and-dip if you have physical evidence of the first two visits. Take a quick note in your phone; just write what you're eating and at what time. This helps ensure you're snacking appropriately and helps enough time pass between snacks.
4. Look on the healthy side of things!
This one's easier said than done, but you can't imagine how much you do for your mind and body when you actively try to eat a more healthy diet. Have fruit instead of chips, have infused water instead of sodas, have grilled chicken instead of red meat, and skip the mayo in the potato salad for delicious alternatives to the typical unhealthy fare.
5. Don't beat yourself up for dietary missteps.
It's summer and that means long weekends, more time spent with family and more socializing in the great outdoors. Don't let a dietary misstep or two ruin your quality time! Don't beat yourself up during those moments, instead, acknowledge your mistake and learn how to be smarter about eating in the future.
Here's the recipe I used to get my weekend started right:
Have fun and enjoy the party!