A family birthday dinner on Sunday, a business event on Tuesday, a fundraiser on Friday – and you’re trying to diet. Don’t give up: You can keep your weight-loss plans on track with even the busiest social calendar.
5 Tips for Sticking to Your Diet at a Social Event
Here are the best ways to stay on your diet, no matter the event:
- Never arrive hungry. Hunger will weaken your resolve. The best approach is to eat before you go, like a snack or mini-meal that’s light, filling, and healthy. “Take the edge off your appetite by eating a piece of fruit, a low-fat yogurt, soup, or a salad before leaving home,” advises Molly Gee, RD, MEd, a nutritionist at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.
- Be polite, but firm, when turning down food. “First say ‘thank you’ and then say ‘not right now, maybe later,’ or whatever seems to be appropriate,” says Gee. If you’re not sure you know how to politely turn down your hostess’s carefully chosen goodies, do some role-playing with a trusted friend, colleague, or the mirror.
- Avoid temptation. When you first enter a room, take note of where the buffet table, bar, and dessert table are — and avoid them. “Out of sight, out of mind is important in this situation,” says Gee. Even if you see something tasty on a pal’s plate, you will have to navigate across the room to get it — giving you time to reconsider.
- Invite a healthy diet date. Attend your special event with someone who can support you in your diet. “Invite someone who will reinforce and cheer you on as you make healthier choices,” says Gee. Tempting as it may be to invite a pal who will give you her salad in exchange for your roll and dessert, Gee cautions against this approach: “It’s not nice to suggest that someone else become the over-indulger on your behalf.”
- Manage your overall calendar. For some people, eating events seem to pile up like cars in rush hour. Gee emphasizes that you have control over all of this — not only which events you attend, but what you do at those events and what you do in your non-event time. “Focus on the events and activities around food and exercise that you can control,” Gee advises. Schedule in the diet-friendly moments for healthy eating and exercise that you need.