Party-Proof Your Diet: Eating Healthy at a Social Gathering

Party-Proof Your Diet: Eating Healthy at a Social Gathering

Nervous about going to a party because of all the food that's sitting there waiting for you? You're not alone!

It's not summer yet, but April definitely marks the beginning of party season - the weather is warmer, the days are longer. You should feel safe and confident enough in your food choices to go hang out with your family and friends without fear of overindulging! Don't worry, if you're not quite there yet, we're here to help!

Follow these steps to ensure you're not only having a great time while you're out, but that your body and health have a great time, as well!

Eat something healthy and filling beforehand.

Have a great salad or vegetable soup with plenty of broth before leaving for your party. You won't be starving when you get there and you'll have increased your daily total of fruits and vegetables.

Count your carbohydrates.

While carbs are necessary in your diet, (they're your body's main source of energy!) too many carbs can wreak havoc on your body, negatively affecting your edocrine system, your weight, your energy levels, and more. Maintaining a healthy balance is key. Check out how many carbs you should be eating daily here.

When you get to your event, start counting! You don't want to exceed your daily carb amount, but even if you do, you know exactly by how much and you get a better feel for the quality and amount of food you've eaten.

Sidenote - pay attention to the types of food available. Pick the healthier option when possible. Avoid fried chicken and grab grilled instead. Potato salad or beans? Potato salad usually contains loads of fat, mayonnaise, and other junk while a half cup of beans gives you 10 grams of fiber. Use vegetables instead of crackers at the dip tray and opt for water with fresh fruit instead of sodas and processed juices.

Take extra steps to offset unhealthy eating.

  • Is fried your only option? Take the fried skin off and eat the rest.
  • Incude extra fiber. Coleslaw, beans, vegetables, and salad are always great party foods to enjoy endlessly!
  • Drink lots of water.
  • Exercise! Get on that dance floor! Park far away so you walk a little more. Stand and talk, don't sit! Every little bit helps.

Remember, a meal of vegetables, some lean protein and a little fruit will be used very effectively by the body. Add unhealthy, saturated and trans fats to the formula and your brain and muscles starve, you build fat instead of muscle, your vessels become damaged and you experience large fluctuations in your blood sugars.

Plan in advance by eating, drinking plenty of fluids, having extra fiber and exercising. Then look for your healthiest options. If you know there won't be any, bring some! No one can deny a bowl of fresh salad or steamed vegetables, especially when you're sharing. Then, get back to your normal regimen and remember, one meal will not make or break your health goals.

Enjoy your outtings and always be safe!

Registered Dietitian, Licensed Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator

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