It’s party time! Which means getting together with friends, family, and/or coworkers, sharing chitchat and gossip, and munching on pica-picas and maybe even buffet fare. Whether you’re at a barbecue, a buffet, or a plated dinner, these reunions and shindigs often wreak havoc on your diet. And while you might admire the self-discipline of people who bring their own packed meals to get-togethers, let’s admit it, seeing them with their plastic food containers can be a downer, especially at a fancy affair. Apart from the hassle and possible offense you might give a host if you don’t warn them beforehand, you probably do want to partake of the spread offered. And why shouldn’t you? It’s a party, after all.
But that doesn’t have to be an excuse to binge. Scroll down for tips on staying healthy without pooping the party for yourself and anyone else.
1. Fuel up before the party.
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Don’t get to a party already hungry. When you let your body get to the point where any food at all would be preferable to the hunger pangs, you’re more likely to make poor food choices and eat more than you need in order to compensate. Have a snack or even a light meal before the party. That way, if the food isn’t served til late, you’re not ready to pile your plate high then eat it down to the table cloth when it is served. And even if the food is served on time or in a buffet, you’ll have the luxury of simply opting for samples of the rich fare or choosing the dishes you really want to try and foregoing the ones that don’t really interest you.
2. Do a little reconnaissance.
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Not that you’re a spy or anything, but it doesn’t hurt to scan the menu or the buffet table and flag the most unhealthy foods and make a mental note to stay away from them or get very small portions of them. Conversely, it’ll also help you identify the healthy options that are available, such as herbed fish or a summery salad. If there’s a vegetable soup like minestrone, you might want to make sure you start with that, for example, as it will help fill you up faster.
3. Keep your mouth moving.
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Parties are for connecting with people, so dive right into the action and chat up a storm! Because common courtesy forbids you from talking with your mouth full, it will mean taking more time between bites, which will force you to eat more slowly than you otherwise would by keeping to yourself. Eating slowly may, in turn, help you feel full faster. Add to this the fact that you’ll be building your network or reconnecting with an old friend or a family member you haven’t seen in a while, and it’s a win-win strategy.
4. Keep your hands full.
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Bring a clutch to the party, and while mingling, keep a wine or water glass in hand (although if you go for the former, just watch the number of times you have it refilled). Having things in both your hands will prevent you from reaching for roving canapes, which might look tiny, but which can pile on the calories since, if you eat them one by one as they happen by you, you might not notice just how much you are actually consuming.
5. Stay on your feet.
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Food consumption is pretty much inevitable at parties, especially for Filipinos. So why not offset that by making sure you don’t spend the whole shindig in a chair? Get up and do the rounds of the room, where you can find people to chat with and make those connections we talked about and so you can get your feet moving? And speaking of moving, if there’s dancing to be had, why not shake your booty to an upbeat tune? Even slow-dancing with your date would be better than just sitting in a chair or standing in a corner.
Featured image by Roger Kirby via FreeImages.com.