One of my biggest struggles in the past has been finding ways to enjoy special events or celebrations without allowing treats to get me completely off track of my health goals. Special events are important. Whether it is a birthday, anniversary, wedding or reunion, many special events seem like a train wreck when you are trying to lose weight and commit to a healthier lifestyle.
Earlier this summer I attended my college reunion. Here are five tricks that I used to enjoy the event without overindulging.
#1 Load up on veggies! If you are at an event with a buffet, try to fill at least half of your plate with salad or some other veggies. By filling most of your plate with veggies you will feel full and can still enjoy a few bites of other rich foods, like pasta. Also, keep an eye out at buffets for smaller plates. Usually, buffets have huge plates that deceive the eyes and often times make you eat more. See if you can use a smaller plate or just remain aware of how much food is on your plate if it is big.
#2 Share a dessert. What?! You can enjoy dessert while staying on track with your health goals! Many special events these days have food trucks. At my college reunion, there was a donut truck and an ice cream/custard truck for dessert. I split one pack of mini donuts with a friend along with sharing a small scoop of custard. By sharing the desserts we each got to taste them, but we didn’t feel like we were totally overindulging.
Even if you don’t have a friend to share your food with, don’t be afraid to leave half of your dessert on your plate. My initial reaction to food is, “Oh I have to enjoy ALL of this because I bought it or was served it.” But as I have considered food choices that I make, I realize that I don’t need to eat everything that I am served, especially if I’m not control of the portion size provided.
#3 Get up and get moving early. After the first night of the reunion weekend, part of me wanted to just lounge around in bed. Instead, I made a conscious decision to get out and move and really maximize the time I had on campus. I got up early and joined a morning group run around campus that was part of the weekend’s reunion events. It was a great way to burn off some calories, soak in the sights, and allowed me to truly enjoy my relaxation time later in the day because I knew I had already completed my workout. Aside from running, my favorite way to get up and get moving, even while on the road, is by attending a class or two on the schedule at my SerenaFit Virtual Training Studio.
#4 Skip the booze (or alternate alcoholic drinks with water). Personally, I’m a foodie. (Exhibit a: my thoughts on desserts above!) So I’d rather savor my meals at a special event than alcoholic beverages. But if you really want that glass of rose, or whatever your drink of choice is, focus on moderation. Alternate water with your beverage of choice to stay hydrated and avoid drinking too much.
Overall, I had an amazing time at my reunion, in part, because I was able to balance my health with my happiness. I hope that these four simple tips help you to stick to your goals while enjoying a special event. Cheers!