Party On! A great time doesn’t have to mean diet disaster.Group of Young People at a Party Sitting on a Couch with Champagne

I went to a fabulous birthday party on Saturday night.  In fact, it was a party weekend!

You say, hey,  it’s a party, and occasionally you can let go and take it all in?  Or maybe you don’t feel like feeling sluggish in the morning, you don’t want to overdo…you want to enjoy without undoing your work becoming fit.  Spring is just around the corner, right?

Here are my favorite tips for surviving celebrations without putting on unwanted weight:

  1. Pick your battle. Which is more fun—fatty foods, or a fit body?  At parties, avoid the waist-expanding fried hors d’oeuvre and circle away from bowls of nuts.  Make weight control second nature by gravitating toward filling, lower calorie foods such as shrimp and crudités.  Feel good both in the moment, and also over the long haul.  A bonus: by skirting calorie-laden and hard-to-digest foods, you’ll automatically feel “lighter,” more attractive, and in control.
  2. Prepare to party…by eating! Eat a snack before you go out, such as a container of nonfat yogurt and a banana or some protein plus a whole grain (a slice of turkey on whole wheat; a tablespoon of natural peanut butter on whole wheat pita).  Take the edge off your appetite before a party and you’ll be much less likely to overeat.
  3. Say “no” in creative ways.  Smart strategies include knowing how to say no.  Before anyone can ask if you want a drink, head straight to the bar and grab a low-cal cocktail such as a wine spritzer or lite beer.  Circle the buffet, gravitate toward protein and veggies, fill up on lower-cal foods. When pressed to ingest, just say, wow, I’ve just enjoyed everything so much!  I’m stuffed, and I’m taking a break.
  4. DANCE!  You can burn many excess calories and have a great time while you’re doing it! Don’t be a wallflower … get up and make it aerobic!
  5. Keep a glass in your hand. Keep your hands busy to make it harder to snack.  In fact, make eating deliberate.  If you’re holding a glass, it’s more difficult to hold a plate and eat!  Make a plate of “good choice” foods to begin with, enjoy it, and then keep a glass of water or club soda in your hand for the rest of the evening.
  6. And finally…dessert is not disaster.  It’s perfectly natural to enjoy a “reasonably” sized treat once in a while, particularly in a celebratory fashion.  The goal should not be to deprive yourself forever or stick to a “diet,” but rather learn to live and eat to stay thin, naturally.  In the context of a healthy overall lifestyle filled with good choices, your choice is your reward for a job well done.