Whether you’ve made weight-related resolutions for the New Year, you’re trying to support a loved one who is dieting or you simply want to implement better nutrition in your daily life, parties and party food can derail your best intentions and plans for healthy eating. The variety and decadence of party food often cause dieters to view an approaching party with equal parts anticipation and dread. But as every successful dieter knows, the key to long-term weight loss and maintenance is balance. Here are some tips to help you enjoy party food without derailing your diet.
Moderation and Balance
When you first begin a diet, you will likely have high hopes for what you can accomplish immediately. However, this can lead to impatience and frustration if you don’t have a realistic sense of how you will accomplish your goals over time. Medical professionals agree that the best approach for losing weight and keeping it off is to lose a small amount of weight at regular intervals (such as weekly or monthly) over a longer time period rather than losing a lot of weight in a short time—also known as “crash dieting.” While it will take more patience and discipline to follow medical advice, it will also set you up for long-term weight maintenance success. Your metabolism will have more time to adjust itself to your new eating plan when the weight loss is more gradual. Most importantly, you won’t feel like you have to completely give up parties and party food. In this way you can enjoy tasty bites of party food now and again without derailing your diet.
Healthy Can Also Be Very Tasty
Just because food is healthy doesn’t mean it can’t be delicious. You can take control of the party food you choose to eat by hosting your own parties and providing the food or volunteering to bring one or more dishes to the parties you attend. You can make the food yourself using healthy substitutes that are lower in calories and fat, or you can use a healthy meal preparation service that prepares the party food for you. If you want to use a meal preparation service, you can often order very easily online by visiting the website and simply clicking on the appropriate information link to get calorie, carbohydrate and fat counts for each option.
Set Your Own Limits and See the Bigger Picture
Another way to enjoy party food without allowing it to derail your diet is to set your own limits and always keep your goals in mind. One of the reasons that many dieters fail to maintain their healthy eating plan is because they forget that a diet is not forever; it is just for a period of time to achieve weight loss goals. Weight-loss eating will look different than weight-maintenance eating, and if you can set your mind to accept the discipline of the diet over a shorter time period, you can eventually add in a few more of your favourite foods once you have reached your ideal weight. So when you attend a party, instead of sampling everything, give yourself permission to try two or three different treats in small portions. If drinking alcohol can tempt you to forget your pre-party decision, try to limit alcohol consumption so you will make better choices. While at the party, be sure to remind yourself of why you are limiting your party food treats by remembering your weight loss goals.
To achieve your diet goals, remember the following: Balance and moderation are key; healthy eating can be tasty eating, and setting limits is both smart and responsible. If you follow each of these guidelines, you will be able to enjoy party food during special occasions and still stick to your diet and healthy eating plan.
About the Author: Sharie Soquille is an enthusiastic party planner. She checks nutrition information for foods she serves at parties by using the Diet-to-Go website. Click here to learn more about Diet-to-Go.