How To Stay On Track At A Party
This bonus post is in honor of Fourth of July! I hope you're celebrating and taking time to be thankful for things like freedom and barbecues, but in the meantime, you might still be trying to stay on track amidst all the parties and gatherings.
I gotcha covered!
Here are 5 of my best party tricks (lol) for when you want cake & chips and dip but also abs.
*Please keep in mind that I very much condone the consumption of ice-cream and sugary, fluffy, overly-iced cake when the occasion calls for it. I'm not trying to shame you out of enjoying a holiday celebration. I'm simply sharing some things I do when I want to "behave" so-to-speak at a party.
1) Fill up beforehand.
This one is pretty simple and obvious, but notice I didn't just say "eat" beforehand. I said "fill up." The emphasis here is on eating a satisfying meal, like something high in protein and moderately high in complex carbohydrates so that you aren't starving when you see food. Of course, I don't have to be hungry to want to eat cake when I see it, but feeling full (or close to it) are helpful reminders that if I do eat that dessert, it won't be because I'm hungry but because I want to taste it, and that's a huge difference for me mentally.
A good pre-game meal would be a good protein shake + fruit, peanut butter toast with a couple boiled eggs, or even a "mini meal" of some meat and potatoes/rice/bread.
2) Arrive packin'.
Packin' a water bottle, that is. It's the best/worst advice I have: drink water when you're hungry. It never fails: the days I go to bed hungry are ALWAYS the days I'm dehydrated (i.e. have drank less than about 2L of water.) Show up to the party with plenty of water (or Crystal Light, etc) on hand so that when the hunger strikes (and it will), you have a plan A before plan B gets too tempting.
3) Stay busy & far, far away.
Really-- get away from the snacks table or the dessert tray. Stand where you can't even see it so you're not constantly tempted by it. Keep busy by talking to someone or playing a game. Occupy yourself and don't torture yourself by standing right next to the assortment of goodies you know you shouldn't have.
Bring Your Own Treat. Maybe that's a big piece of fruit, an iced-coffee, a chocolatey-protein packed smoothie, or even an actual mini candy bar! Whatever you need to do, sometimes a sweet treat really is the answer to staving off a sweets craving. You can still satisfy it and do it mindfully and relatively guilt-free. If you're like me and you know you're simply not going to be able to ignore that little voice going "chocolate! chocolate! chocolate!" then tend to it nicely, and be done with it.
5) Make up your mind.
Either you're going to indulge, or you aren't. Make up your mind before the party. Don't ruin the fun for yourself or deprive yourself of enjoyment because you're anguishing over calories or sugar or how much cardio you're going to have to do tomorrow. Either decide to have some treats and enjoy them shamelessly, or decide you're going to stay strong.
And when you get there, don't make any deals with yourself. Stick with your decision. If (ha! when) you find yourself eyeing those brownies or wanting to have another handful of chips, remind yourself of the decision you made. Deciding beforehand removes so much of the battle and debate that we often give into and torture ourselves with, so before it even begins, end it.