You have prepared and now it’s time!
You are dressed in something you love, you have a fantastic-looking veggie or fruit tray, or ‘acceptable dessert’ (after all, this is the holiday season!)…and you are ready to walk into the party.
However, before you actually enter the room, have an honest talk with yourself. Be very aware of self-deception: the lies you will hear in your head throughout the evening.
- ‘I’ve been pretty good all week; one night off-track is OK.’
- ‘I’ll do an extra session in the gym.’
- ‘I’ll eat what I want to tonight and worry about it tomorrow.’
- ‘I’ve already really blown it today. I’ll re-start tomorrow.’
- ‘I should never have started this! This is just way too hard.’
On a positive note, you might want to replace any of those lines with this: ‘Nothing tastes as good as thin (or my ideal size) feels.’
Here are some suggestions for your consideration once you walk into the room:
Focus on people not food. Talk or listen more than you eat. Concentrate on conversation- perhaps with someone new. Be involved with just one person at a time, rather than a group. A study from Georgia State University found that when you eat with more people around you, you will eat more: with just one person, you eat 33% more; with 2 people 47% more; with 3 people 58% more. Interesting….
Pace yourself. Eat leisurely. It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to register that you are satisfied.
Count your appetizers. Decide ahead of time- or at the buffet table- how many appetizers will you eat. Then stick with that number. Otherwise, you will engage in ‘amnesia eating,’ which is what we experience when we simply eat whatever is put in front of us for however long the food is there!
Act like a ‘naturally thin’ person around the buffet. Scope out the entire buffet table. Look at everything, even the desserts. Eat only what is most appealing to you. Take a smaller plate. Have only a ‘single story of food-‘ don’t stack your food. Go for simple foods- beware of sauces and dips.
Be aware that nuts, cheeses, olives are all high in fats and calories. That said, these foods will be more satisfying because they are high in fat. Bottom line: exercise portion control- rather than ‘amnesia eating.’
Be choosy about the sweets. Will you do better if you have a single dessert, or will you be able to handle one bite of several different ones? “Know thyself.”
About those desserts: ‘Savor the first bite, be satisfied with the second, and finish with a third.’ (Of course that implies that you took a single dessert!)
Limit alcohol. We tend to eat more when we drink alcohol. Decide before the party that you will be the designated driver and drink accordingly. Eliminate diet soda. Carry around a glass of water or club soda.
Chew slowly. Remember, it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to get the message that you are satisfied.
What suggestion resonated with you? Let us know what strategy you decided to utilize, and how the party went for you.
Lifestyle, pre-party, at the party…now look for the fourth and final in this series: after the party!
Your friend…Mari DeZago