Summer vacation is upon us, and we all know what that means! Potlucks, pool parties, tailgates, weddings, cook-outs, festivals and carnivals, and the list goes on… Summer vacation can be almost as detrimental to our diets as the holiday season! Every weekend your slowly deteriorating will-power is tested to the max, and it can get pretty stressful for those who are serious about improving their health or have weight-loss goals. I’ll admit, I’ve flaked out on my family and friends more times than I care to admit, just because I didn’t want to deal with the stress of fighting my temptation to eat everything in sight, or giving into peer pressure to have one too many drinks. But it doesn’t have to be that way! I learned some very useful tips that I have made a part of my routine every time I go to a gathering or event where it’s bound to be junk food heaven, and I’m going to share them with you. Stick to these 5 tips, and you’ll be surprised how easy it is to say ‘no’ to overindulgence.
Eat a healthy snack/meal before you go - Possibly the easiest and most important rule is to NOT show up on an empty stomach! This is just asking for disaster. Choose a snack high in protein, healthy fats, and fiber as these digest slower and will keep your stomach full longer.
Bring a healthy dish that you’ll enjoy eating - This way, even if there are no other healthy options available, at least you have the dish that you brought to keep you satisfied. Set the example, and be the one who raises the standards.
Offer to host/organize the party yourself - This way you have control over most of the food options that will be served. It might be a little extra work, but it can be a very effective way to control your environment and keep it on the healthier end.
Make it a game - Make an agreement with yourself that for every unhealthy choice you make, you must counter it with a healthy choice. For example, if you want another serving of pizza, you have to eat another serving of salad first. Or if you want another beer, you have to drink a full glass of water first. This is a great way to limit your poor choices and at the same time, make sure you’re feeding your body with nutritious foods. Chances are if you have to guzzle down a full glass of water to get that next beer, you probably won’t drink as much of it, or maybe even skip it all together.
Don’t be too hard on yourself! - Realize it’s normal and OK to have fun and let loose once in awhile. By telling yourself that certain foods are ‘bad’ or ‘off-limits’ it puts unnecessary stress around your relationship with food, and will only make you want it more. Plus if you give in and eat those ‘bad’ foods, you’ll end up beating yourself up over it, and making yourself feel even worse. If you end up overindulging, don’t punish yourself! Just realize your mistake, accept it, and try to find a way not to repeat it again in the future.
The key is moderation. Limiting the amount of poor choices, while maximizing the amount of good choices. No one can be perfect, and who wants to be anyway? I don’t know about you, but life would be pretty dull without fatty, greasy, salty, sweet deliciousness once in awhile. So go ahead and enjoy your favorite foods, and don’t stress out about it too much. One bad day isn’t going to ruin your weight-loss goals. Just stick to these 5 tips to help you stay in ‘safe-zone’ at your next party or gathering.
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