When you’re trying to manage your weight and keep up a healthy diet, parties can make things tough. After all, it’s the 4th of July! You want to celebrate with everyone else! You want to enjoy all the great food and drinks! It can take a lot of healthy eating willpower to get through it all unscathed.
There’s nothing that says you have to starve or deprive yourself while you celebrate in your best red, white and blue party outfit. The key is to be smart about your choices. There are also several additional techniques that will help you to naturally keep yourself on track, no willpower required.
Use the following tips to make sure you keep up your healthy eating willpower, stick to your party plan, celebrate just as much as everyone else, and feel proud of yourself the next day.
Healthy Eating Willpower Tips
Before heading to the party, have your own light meal, such as a good-sized salad. That way, you won’t arrive hungry, but you also won’t have filled up on calories before walking out the door. Bring minty gum with you. If you’re chewing gum – especially mint-flavored gum – you’re less likely to want to eat food.
Stay away from the food
Try not to spend your entire time in the kitchen or in front of the food table. Mingle elsewhere. If the group you usually talk to is hanging out next to the bowls of chips and dip, stroll over to someone else you haven’t talked to in a while, and who isn’t positioned next to temptation. If you must stay near the food, grab the seat farthest from it so you won’t be as tempted to continue reaching out and taking more.
Turn your back to the food table
If there’s a buffet and you know you’ve had enough or shouldn’t be eating yet, simply turn your back to it. Out of sight, out of mind.
This can be a challenging one, since beer and themed drinks are such a central part of many 4th of July celebrations. That said, alcohol is packed with empty calories, so it’s worth it to limit your intake. A few glasses can completely derail your efforts for the day and are dehydrating drinks at the same time. If you want to avoid alcohol, keep another drink in your hand at all times. Not only will hosts be less likely to offer you another drink when you already have one in your hand, but you’ll also be less likely to take a lot of food while passing a buffet because one of your hands will be busy! At worst, you’ll grab one bite from the veggie tray!
Find a buddy
If you know someone else at the gathering has similar goals to your own, team up! Hold each other accountable and keep each other motivated. Check in on your healthy eating buddy. You may find that you’ll naturally police your own actions just because you know your friend is watching over you!
Enjoy the foods you love
Maintaining healthy eating willpower doesn’t mean you have to skip out on all your favorites. It’s July 4th! Celebrate! That said, there’s a difference between having one hamburger and having two. There’s a difference between a bite of strawberry shortcake and two full servings. Use veggies to fill yourself up so you’ll have room to taste, savor and enjoy reasonable portions of the favorite red, white and blue treats you truly love.