Let’s chat about our eating habits today!
I know for sure that one of my biggest challenges is overeating at social occasions. Since this weekend is my birthday weekend, I thought it would be an appropriate topic!
There’s the holidays like Birthdays, Thanksgiving and Christmas that tempt us, but then there’s going out to dinner with significant others, drinks with girlfriends, barbeques, cookouts, potlucks at work, happy hours with colleagues. It can seem endless at times! Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy all of these occasions, but sometimes I don’t pay any attention to how much food (or drink) I’m putting into my mouth. Anyone with me here?
I tend to overeat sometimes because I’m distracted by the company of my family or friends and unlike at home where I am surrounded by healthy choices, I am surrounded by tempting unhealthy choices.
So how can we solve this conundrum?
Make Healthier Choices
When you’re out at restaurants or bars, give yourself a limit on how much (or at all) of the chip and bread basket you’re going to eat. Don’t be afraid to tell the waiter not to bring a second basket. Order items that are grilled, steamed, and ask for sauce and dressing on the side.
If you’re at a party or other social event that someone else is hosting, don’t be afraid to politely say no to drinks or appetizers. If you want to limit how much you eat or drink, give yourself a number before you even walk into the party. If you tell yourself that you’re going to choose three appetizers to try, stick with your goal and reward yourself later (a non-food reward, like a bubble bath or a new nail polish color).
Host Events at Home
In my family, birthdays and major holidays are almost always spent at home, with home-cooked meals and desserts. I always say that anything you cook at home will be five times better for you than anything you could get at most restaurants. Plus, you get bonding time with your family and you save money!
Margaritas are my go-to drink when I’m out with friends. I’ll have to remember this Strawberry Margarita recipe the next time I’m making drinks at home and forgo the artificial margarita mix!
For your next birthday, tell your family you want to get together and cook a meal together. Choose a tasty salad recipe, main entree, signature drink, and a tasty dessert. You can tailor everything to your tastes, and reduce calories, sodium and sugar where you want to. Plus, you can make just enough for you and your guests, and control portion sizes much better than you could at a restaurant.
This is simply being aware of your eating and your body’s actual hunger signals, of your urges to overeat, and urges to snack when you’re not really hungry.
Mindful eating is eating slowly, fully tasting the food, thinking about where your food came from and how it was prepared, and savoring each bite.
To avoid social overeating, don’t go to an event hungry. Always eat a little snack like apples and peanut butter, or crackers and cheese, beforehand so you’re not ravenous later. Don’t linger by the food table. Ask yourself if you’re really hungry, or if you just want to eat because your friends are. Focus on talking to your friends or family. If your mouth is talking, it can’t eat.
What do you do to prevent overeating at social events?