I love ‘events’…holiday parties, summer BBQ’s, birthday parties, friends over for the evening. Big or small, all my events have one thing in common – tons of food! The host in me wants my guests to feel welcome and loved. The Dietitian in me, however, understands that my usual smorgasbord may be difficult for some to manage. I could change my ways and offer only carrots (never going to happen!) or I can lead by example and provide some tips to help navigate the buffet.
Don’t arrive hungry! When we are very hungry, we have less control over our cravings. We’ll rationalize anything when we are starving! Plus, we tend to consume more calories than we ‘saved.’ Instead, maintain your normal pattern. Reduce portion sizes a little, but don’t eliminate any meal.
Imagine all your food on one plate! I know…scary! If you think about it, we are usually having one ‘meal’ while we are there. But because we eat that meal gradually over a couple of hours, we lose sight of how much we are consuming. Put some apps in the center of a small 7” plate. What fits is what you get, so choose wisely!
What about dinner and dessert?
Stay balanced. Start with the veggies and fill ½ of your plate. It leaves less room for the other stuff. Another ¼ should be protein and the remaining ¼ carbohydrates. Be aware of the sauces, gravies and condiments. Enjoy the flavor of them but don’t drown your food.
Is it worth it? You want dessert but what is available isn’t really your thing. The cake that looked amazing doesn’t live up to expectations. Don’t eat it just to eat it; That said, if it’s amazing – go for it! A large slice, however, won’t taste any better than a smaller one so be mindful of the portion and savor every bite.
Now…let’s go party!