Expert Q&A

Holiday Parties: How to Control Eating?

Do you have any tips for me about how to eat at parties? I find it difficult to control my eating any carbohydrate intake.

Plan ahead - do not skip meals beforehand

Your first safeguard is going prepared. Do not save calories all day long by skipping meals or snacks. If you arrive famished, it will be difficult to stop eating once you start. Be good to yourself. Eat a sensible breakfast. For lunch, have something like a lean turkey sandwich, salad, and fruit. Before the event, have a light snack. The idea is to save calories by eating low-calorie, low-carbohydrate foods that are filling, not by skipping meals.

Consciously think about what you eat

Be mindful of what you eat. During these situations, people tend to eat unconsciously. To break this cycle, avoid munching on the mints, nuts, and hors d'oeuvres when you first arrive. Instead, ask for a no-calorie, low-carb beverage like sparkling water. When you have socialized for a while and are ready to eat, take a few moments to assess the food options. Categorize them into:

  • High-calorie foods - fried foods, desserts, cheeses, dips
  • Low-calorie/Low-carb foods - fruits, vegetables, non-fried foods.

Select 1 or 2 high-calorie foods and then fill the rest of your plate with low-calorie, low-carbohydrate options. Be sure to sit down and enjoy your food. Order another calorie-free beverage and socialize. If you are still hungry later, repeat the process.

Opt for activity instead of additional eating

Also, engaging in an activity like taking a stroll around the neighborhood or simply standing during the party is another good choice. If people are dancing, join in! By keeping your body moving, blood sugar levels will stay down. Being prepared and mindful of what you eat in social situations will not only allow you to feel better about your choices, but it will also keep your blood sugar levels and weight down.

For further tips on eating sensibly during the holidays to avoid weight gain see the following article from TheDietChannel: Savvy Eating at Holiday Parties, Holiday Eating: How To Avoid Gaining Weight during the Holidays, 10 High Calorie Holiday Foods to Watch Out For, 10 Tips for Preventing Holiday Weight Gain and 10 Ways to Prevent Thanksgiving Weight Gain.

For more on socialising/parties with diabetes see the following article from TheDietChannel: 3 Holiday Eating Strategies for Diabetics.

Megan Porter, RD/LD
Contributing Expert

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