(Family Features)—With so many social events that revolve around food, it can be challenging to make healthy choices. To keep your diet in check, take time to establish a plan ahead of social gatherings, says nationally recognized nutrition and wellness expert Mitzi Dulan.
“Whether you are hosting an event or attending someone else's celebration, planning ahead can help you stay on track,” says Dulan, a registered dietitian. “Having quick and simple strategies and recipes on hand makes it easy to eat well and keep you feeling great.”
Your plan should include:
Loving what you eat.
Be mindful of the food you eat and make every bite count. Enjoying each delicious taste will make it easier to stick to a sensible eating plan. For the foods you do love, look for ways to make them better for you. For example, if pizza is your weakness, substitute a lower-calorie crust and choose toppings that help counteract added fat and calories.
Not skipping meals.
Although skipping breakfast may seem like a good way to cut calories, it's a plan that can actually backfire, making you hungrier as the day wears on, and more likely to overeat or sneak unhealthy snacks. Start each day with a well-rounded breakfast to fuel your body. Apply a similar approach to events later in the day, as well. You may be tempted to skip a meal so you can enjoy the treats at a party, but chances are you'll end up overdoing it with high-calorie indulgences, so make sure you fuel up ahead of time.
Eating smaller portions.
When you simply must indulge, go ahead, but to do so in moderation. One clever way to keep your portions small: use a tablespoon, not a serving spoon to dish out portions. Eat slowly so your body has time to tell your brain you're full.
Getting your fill in healthy ways.
Overeating often comes down to a very basic cause: hunger. Becoming more conscious of how you answer your hunger will help you stay on track. Drinking water before and during events will help to fill you up so you are less likely to consume excess calories. Snacking throughout the day can also help keep hunger at bay; several small, healthy snacks, such as a handful of nuts or trail mix, can help keep you feeling full.
Source: Flatout Flatbread
Published with permission from RISMedia.