It has been a while since I have blogged. I went off social media almost completely last March, as I felt it was detrimental to my mental health. However, I have had quite a few clients and followers telling me that they missed my posts and recipes. So I will be blogging every month as I still want to educate and help busy families with healthy living. I would love to hear from you and what you might be interested in reading about!
As the world starts to open up, we might find ourselves actually having social events back on our calendar. We have missed so many milestones and gatherings this past year that getting together with friends and family is definitely something to celebrate. However, just because we are celebrating with food does not necessarily mean throwing all healthy choices out the window. Read below for a few reminders on how to enjoy social occasions while still prioritizing health.
- Focus on the people, not just the food
Food is part of our culture and is made to be enjoyed. However, if going to a gathering is causing you anxiety thinking that you will overeat, then the gathering will not be as special or enjoyable. Yes, food is likely and should be a part of the celebration but there is more to the celebration than the food. Especially since this past year and half, we have not gathered as frequently, focus on the people you are with. Enjoy some food but mostly enjoy the ability to gather and socialize again.
- Taste everything, don’t overeat anything
Parties are often filled with great food, maybe food you don’t always get to enjoy. Give yourself permission to have at least a little bit of everything you want. The key is a small amount. If you use willpower to try to stay away from the brownies that you really want to try, you will be left feeling unsatisfied which can often lead to even more cravings. A tip that is helpful for holiday eating as well, select foods that you love but don’t often have. Grandma’s famous potato salad? Have a little bit and enjoy. Plain chips and salsa? Maybe skip it this time. Moderation really does work.
- Don’t exercise or skip meals to buy calories before or after the gathering.
Yes, exercise is important. And if you know you will be eating a bit more, then sure, adding a bit more movement is fine but do not exercise solely to earn calories. Do not skip meals because you feel guilty for having some treats. Guilt has no utility when it comes to behavior change or making good choices. Feel like you did not make the best choices at the gathering? Simply make a healthy choice for the next meal and get back on your regular exercise routine. One party will also not erase all your hard work or exercise efforts.
- Focus on lean vegetables, protein, fruit
Fill your plate mostly with vegetables, lean protein and fruit. All of these foods will give you the most bang for your buck. They are the most nutritionally dense with higher water and fiber contents which will fill you up with less calories. Once you have a good amount of these foods on your plate, add small amounts of the food you enjoy.
- Pay attention to liquid calories
Sure, a cold beer or glass of rosé on a hot summer day can taste amazing. But at around 80-150 calories per drink (more for fruity concoctions) liquid calories can add up! Try alternating with a glass of water or seltzer. Luckily, there are many new, low calorie, non-alcoholic beverages on the market to choose from. Staying hydrated with water will also help with not over-indulging on food as thirst can be mistaken for hunger.
It is so wonderful to be able to gather again. However, as we learned how vital our health really is this past year, do not let a few parties derail your efforts to eat well. You can still enjoy the food and more importantly the company.
I would love to hear from you. What do you struggle with when it comes to social eating? Comment below! And as always, thanks for reading.
Originally published on www.elevationcorporatehealth.com-July 2021