Have you tried eating healthy at a social gathering?

With New Year round the corner and the holiday season approaching there are innumerable opportunities for people to have a party for just about any reason. It was during a discussion with an overseas client who happened to dread this season because of the difficulty in eating healthy at all the parties that I realized that I had to address this issue.

When I thought about this I realised that I too have overindulged on occasion and there is something we can all learn from our mistakes. I agree that not going to these parties is a no brainer but the key is to work towards eating healthy and not giving up an opportunity of meeting new people. Do note that some of these tips might be a bit contradictory. You should pick the tips that work best for you and not look at this as a step-by-step guide or a ready reckoner

Eat before you go: When I tell this to some of my clients they are usually unhappy. However look at the logical side of this step. If you are working out to lose those extra calories week after week then just by one bad judgement it does not make sense to lose your grip of the hard work done. I developed this habit early and had a couple of fruits before moving in to a social gathering. Has this helped me? Yes, to a large extent if I look back now and realize that my making an effort was worth it.

Plan ahead: If you cannot plan for a social gathering then there is a problem about who is inviting you in my opinion. I always tell people that a little bit of planning can do one a world of good. Repenting about it later is a not so good experience. By planning about the day/ timings of the party, time you intend to leave in case you are focused on your sleep pattern/decide to be veg only for that particular day (actually it is an excellent strategy) will help you work out things better.

Begin your meal with lots of fruits and veggies: I see nowadays that most of the parties have a fresh cut salad counter probably because people are more conscious of healthy eating. Nevertheless it does makes sense to fill your plate with loads of fruits and vegetables. Ensure you drink a couple of glasses of water even before all of this. What this does is it fill you with healthy options and there will hardly be any place for greasy, unhealthy food to occupy your plate. You might feel content and happy at that particular moment but we all know what junk food eventually does to our system in the long run.

Avoid Alcohol: Well this is an another topic altogether, but what I have realized is that by drinking Alcohol in a social gathering one tends to overdo the drinking and the eating part since our logical thinking goes for a walk after a couple of drinks in our system. The best thing to do is not to have Alcohol and stick to a glass of water with lots of ice. I do this and most of the people think I am on something potent. I would not want to dig more into Alcohol and its pitfall’s  right now but would love to write about this at some point of time shortly.

 Maintain a Log of what goes in through your mouth: The one particular reason I always insist my clients to log what they eat is for the simple reason that one is accountable to themselves. You will be surprised when you see what you would have eaten at some gathering and did not realize that you might have to do a couple of marathons to burn the calories. Daily logs of what you eat will always make you be more disciplined. You can always go back yourself, check on it and most importantly learn from it. The idea is to improvise and I see loads of opportunity out there for everybody out there.

Try to eat healthy for most of the week: This is an idle strategy which I have developed over a period of time which has worked for me amazingly well. The idea is to be absolutely disciplined through the week and make the cheat meal as the meal in the social gathering. If “cheat Meal” is a new word in your dictionary, it is nothing but eating whatever you want for one meal in a week. This works if you happen to go to a party because you can be a part of the crowd (unfortunately), not feel guilty about it and also make the situation work to your advantage. Well for those for whom going to a social gathering is a daily affair then you might want to reach out to me directly and we can work things out through a different approach.

Eventually this thought comes to people who put their health first and are ready to compromise on the other things be it social status, lengthy midnight discussions with friends or unnecessary social commitments. With more and more people fighting the mid waist bulge I felt that this article might not have been put up at a more appropriate time. I would love to hear what you do think about eating @ social gatherings and what your very own strategy in eating healthy is. Do share your thoughts on my Facebook Fan Page or send me your thoughts on to coach@satishraao.in.