healthy_eatingAt this time of year there seems to be so many social events happening. Catching up with friends for pre-Christmas drinks, Christmas parties, work events, school or playgroup activities. It’s easy for your calendar to get pretty booked up.
But along with these social occasions come the inevitable chips, dips, nibbles, wines, desserts and dinners.
There is absolutely no reason for you to miss out on a special event just because you are trying to lose weight.
The best strategy is to be prepared for it, and have a few tricks up your sleeve so that you don’t end up overdoing it and feeling the champagne and canapé remorse the next day.

Alternate your alcoholic drinks with sparkling water

Not only will this help you to stay in control of your alcohol intake (which can often be related to your chip ‘n’ dip intake) but it also keeps you hydrated which will ensure you feel OK in the morning.

Don’t arrive ravenous

There is nothing like extreme hunger to test anyone’s willpower. If you arrive at an event hungry you are far more likely to end up overdoing it on whatever food happens to be served first (which tends to be pastry or batter covered). Try to prepare for this by having a nutritious snack before you arrive, such as a banana, yoghurt, some trail mix or a smoothie (especially if you know there won’t be a main meal served).

Don’t stand near the food or the bar

Try to keep busy chatting with people away from the snacks, and avoid the tendency to overeat just for something to do with your hands. Grab a water so that your hands are busy if that helps.

Choose your drinks wisely

Free drinks can be a killer for willpower. Especially large, creamy, sugary drinks with umbrellas in them. If you do fancy a cocktail it’s best to go for something icy rather than creamy, and one that is flavoured with fresh fruit is better than something packed with syrups or cordials.
A great option is to enjoy a glass of white wine or champagne with some sparkling water in it. You still enjoy the flavour but it drastically reduces your alcohol and calorie intake. Plus no one will know that you are being drink-smart.

Avoid anything deep-fried, buttery or creamy

There is, for some reason, a tendency for people to think that everyone needs more batter and mayonnaise in their life at social occasions. Snacks such as deep fried prawns, sausage rolls, creamy dips and spring rolls abound on canapé trays all over the country.

Try to source the better choices in the food department

Your best bet is to fill up on better options such as quiches, rice paper rolls, fresh fruit, bruschetta, sandwiches on wholegrain bread, smoked salmon, meatballs and sushi.

Set yourself some limits

If you find you don’t have an ‘off’ button for the drinks or food at the party, it can help to set yourself a number of each that you will have. That way you can still be a part of the event and enjoy yourself, but if you reach your 3-drink or 4-canape limit then this might help you to keep yourself in check and not overdo it.

Don’t overfill your plate

If there is a buffet or a sit-down meal, try your best to keep your portions in check. It’s easy to get carried away when you want to try everything, but remember that this is not your last meal and that you are trying to be healthy (so best to take the extra dinner roll out of your purse).

Watch the sauces and dressings

There is nothing that can undo your great choices faster than a creamy sauce or salad dressing. If in doubt, leave it out and go for a splash of olive oil for your salad or some mustard for your roast beef.

Have a line or two ready for over-eager waiters

If you are one of those people that find it hard to say no to a smiling waiter with a tray of party pies, it pays to be organised.
There’s no need for you to give them your life story, a simple line such as ‘They look great, but I’m all set thanks’ or ‘I’m fine for now’ will suffice.


If there is a dance floor, get yourself on it! There is nothing better than burning calories while also having a ball so why not make the most of it?
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