Let’s face it- we are in the thick of summer and with the 4th of July is here! I find it even more imperative to discuss tips for promoting health in social situations when it is especially difficult to do so. With BBQs, days spent on the water, beach trips, and parties celebrating with family and friends, I have created the following three steps to help make the best decisions.
- Make a commitment to yourself and elicit a friend/partner to commit with you. My husband and I did this on our recent trip to Greece. We sat down before we left and discussed our goals of zero weight gain during the trip. We sketched out how we would fast, what we would pack for snacks, and limits on beverages. Knowing that he was “in it to win it” with me, made it so much easier to relax, have a great time, and enjoy ourselves without the guilt that comes with overindulgence!
- Combat the seemingly never-ending appetizer spread. This is actually a lot harder than it seems. It’s easy to tell yourself you’ll avoid the large, appealing spread of chips and dips and crackers but unless you have a plan in place this is usually never the case. I recommend eating before you get to a party or event, especially if you do not know the type of food that will be served. Another strategy to combat this is to stay away from the display of food – this trick is especially important if you cannot eat before you get to the event – as the physical distance between you and the food will cut down on amount consumed. Try not to get trapped into a lengthy conversation – right in front of the chips and dip display!
- Make smart drink decisions. Although a frozen cocktail may look appealing this time of year, especially when the temperatures are high, they are filled with sugar. For ladies in the menopause transition, this is especially problematic because consuming sugary beverages promotes hormone changes as well as energy swings that lead to weight gain. Instead, opt for a glass of wine or a spirit mixed with sparkling water; both light and refreshing options. Before even considering alcoholic beverages, however, ensure that you are fully hydrated! Also, ensure only 2-3 beverages max are consumed per day and that consumption ends at least one hour before you go to bed. I am a huge fan of spritzers! My favorite beverage to order is a “vodka/double soda” with lime! Also mixing white wine with sparkling water is a favorite s well.
- Control portion sizes and limit the urge for “seconds.” If there are multiple plate size options, choose a smaller plate to avoid filling your plate and eventually overeating. Also, before getting seconds, give yourself 15-20 minutes and reassess if you truly are still hungry. Eating prior to the event will again help with the temptation of over-eating.
Don’t get me wrong – summer is a time to relax and enjoy time with friends and family but don’t let temptations of get-togethers and parties inhibit your progress to a healthy lifestyle! I hope these tips above will help with combating overindulging this summer. If you’re ready to make serious change and commit to healthy living, please check out the Galveston Diet for more information.