I know you’re going to a party soon. It’s going to be packed with food, cocktails, and more food… followed by desserts. Plus, you’ll show up super hungry so you can really take advantage of the food spread. We all do it!
A few years ago, I attended the biggest buffet ever – the New York Food and Wine Festival. A full warehouse was lined with hundreds of eats from NYC’s top restaurants. I walked in and instantly lost control. At the very first table, I inhaled the sample, then whizzed past every next table, eating whatever they offered. Before I knew it, I was full. But I couldn’t stop. I wanted to try EVERYTHING! And I only had one hour left. As I staggered out those doors, I was so full, like uncomfortably full – I had to unbutton my pants and lower the zipper just to breathe. So guess what I did the following year? I wore elastic pants!! It didn’t help. I walked out in a gluttonous food coma and woke up 7 pounds heavier, in a fog and dying of thirst.
We are all guilty of overeating at one time or another. And it doesn’t feel wrong when the food is FREE! So you load up your plate with seconds… or thirds, and then hate yourself the next day.
WHY DO WE OVERINDULGE AND THEN PAY FOR IT LATER?
Let me break it down.
There are 4 types of foods.
Steer clear of the first two, but feast on the others.
These foods are just meant to fill you up but lack any nutritional value. They come in bigger portions, so they’re naturally more attractive. It’s the bread basket, fries or bottomless chips. You find yourself wishing you hadn’t eaten so much because you leave no room for the good stuff.
Guilty Temptations (Energy Drains)
These are all your sweets (i.e. cookies, brownies, cakes). You can never have just one bite, and within one hour, your sugar high has bottomed out and you’re ready for a nap. Not to mention, these items will destroy any weight loss goals you’ve worked so hard to achieve.
Hearty & Wholesome (Power Foods)
These are nutritionally dense and keep you satisfied hours longer than their sabotager counterparts minus the energy drop of the guilty temptations. Examples include juicy meats and seafood, anything green, cut up veggies with guacamole, colorful salads, beans/lentils, flavored nuts, fresh fruit. They are packed with vitamins, minerals, and a good balance of proteins and fats. So load up!
Delicacies (Gourmet Indulgences)
These might not be on the healthy list, but oh are they irresistible to turn down. Truffles, dark chocolate, wagyu beef, lobster – if you see a true decadence, go for it! Luxuriate in these flavors without a guilty thought.
Food will always be tempting at social events, but without a selection strategy, your hips and health will pay for it later. Indulge in foods that are worth the splurge while steering clear of those that leave you with guilt.
As you approach a food spread at any party, festival, or backyard BBQ…
Use these 4 strategies to keep your energy high and your weight low.
- Eat something BEFORE going to the party. If you walk into that room hungry, you’ve already lost. It’s nearly impossible to make rational decisions when you’re starving. Instead, eat a handful of nuts or a spoon of peanut butter with apple slices, a cup of Greek yogurt or a protein shake. This will curb your hunger and keep you from overeating.
- Scope out the food spread, then grab a plate. Walk past the entire smorgasbord and survey the selection. Start with the hearty & wholesome samples instead of loading up on sabotagers (which are strategically placed at the beginning of any buffet). This simple move alone will dodge an otherwise impending food coma.
- Eat your protein and vegetables first. If you fill your plate with chicken (steak, seafood) and green vegetables first, your waistline might even shrink! These maximize your metabolism and keep your body burning calories for hours.
- Eat slowly and enjoy the food. It is not a race to see how fast you can devour your meal. Chew slowly and savor the taste. Your brain will have a chance to register that your stomach is full before it is bulging, leaving you pleasantly light and satisfied.