Tips to Avoid Overeating at Parties

Article posted in: Diet & Nutrition

Last weekend, backyard barbecue. Weekend before that, parents’ anniversary dinner. Today, nephew’s birthday. These are all happy events that are good for my soul, less so for my waist. I have a big Italian family who celebrates everything and centers each shindig around food. To not at least taste every dish can be taken as offensive; to deflect second helpings from my grandmother is an act of will. I know I can’t completely change my family, and I don’t want to. But what I can change is my own party approach. Here are some simple tips to help you avoid overeating at parties:

Eat beforehand. My husband often skips the meal before the party to “save room,” but I know if I show up starving, I’ll be the one serving myself the second helpings. Instead, I make it a point to have a piece of fruit, yogurt or something healthy right before we head out. This way, I’m satisfied when we arrive and more in control of my choices.

Bring a dish. For barbecues or potluck-type parties, volunteer to bring a healthy side, like a green salad or whole-grain pasta dish, veggie platter or fruit bowl. This way, you know for sure there’s a healthy option.

Be choosy. If you can’t say no to your grandmother’s cheesy lasagna, then don’t. Just be conscious to serve yourself a smaller piece, and then load the extra space on your plate with veggies and greens. And if your aunt insists you try her cheese-stuffed eggplant, too, insist you only have room for one bite.

Mingle and move. Sit at a table in front of platters of mini appetizers or bowls of chips, and it’s tough not to pick. Instead, stand when you chat, or play with the kids, or volunteer to take the dog for a walk. It helps keep you a little active and less likely to munch mindlessly.