Tips for Maintaining Weight Socially

Sep 27, 2016

Can you manage your weight loss success and be a social butterfly at the same time?  Absolutely!   After all, healthy people like to have fun too!!  The key to enjoying sporting events, tailgating, birthday parties, family gatherings, Halloween through The New Year, and so on, while managing your weight loss is to have a PLAN.  Planning ahead allows you to remain in control of the situation, which will allow for a much better outcome.  Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Avoid showing up hungry.  It’s easier to make better food choices when you are not starving.  Try to eat a snack before you head out the door, i.e., an apple with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, single serving low-fat cottage cheese or lite yogurt with fruit, or hummus and veggies. 
  2. Use a 6-inch or 8-inch plate to track your portions.  It’s easier to track portions when you aren’t eating out of packages or standing around just grabbing handfuls of food.  Another strategy could be to aim for ½ your plate be fruits and veggies, ¼ whole grain, ¼ lean protein. 
  3. Stay motivated focusing on an exercise goal during the next 4 months of the year.  For example, sign up for a local race like the Ray Tanner Home Run in October or The Cold Winters Day 5K in December that will require you to train for OR set a personal goal of “4 for 4” (4 days/week workouts for ~4 months). 
  4. Plan on what you will eat vs. what you will not eat.  This allows you to focus on the positive without feeling of deprivation. 
  5. Take Initiative.  Instead of relying on others to supply healthy options, volunteer to bring a dish.  A few of my favorite recipe sites are www.hungry-girl.com, www.skinnymom.com, www.skinnytaste.com.   A few quick last minutes swaps might be to celery-n-salsa (instead of chips) or fresh veggies and lite dip.
  6. Eat mindfully by taking smaller bites and chewing well.  After all, it takes your brain ~20 minutes to receive the signal from the stomach that it has received food.  In most cases, you will no longer experience physical hunger. 
  7. If you are the host, consider having a time for the meal and clean up after.  This is a great strategy to avoid the temptation of grazing, eating more late night when you are tired and having to control yourself while cleaning up after everyone.  It will also allow you to get rid of tempting leftovers by packaging your guests a goodie bag.
  8. Enjoy the socialization by engaging in the people who you are with.   Also, games are always a fun way for everyone to get to know each other too.  A few ideas may include:  Wii Fit or Wii Just Dance, charades, freeze fame, corn hole, cards, board games, tell stories telling by the camp fire, or a movie. 
  9. Limit alcohol.  Alcohol is high in calories, and too much alcohol can lower your inhibition leading you to making poor food choices.

Written by: Farrah Wigand, RD, LD

 

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