10 Tips to Keep from Overeating at a Party


By: , SparkPeople Blogger

Temptations abound at parties, but celebration doesn't have to mean overindulgence. Follow these tips to stay on track at your Super Bowl parties this weekend.

Say no the first time to passed hors d'oeuvres. Chances are good that food will come around again. See what's being served before you decide what to eat.

Limit your alcohol. Inhibitions are lowered with every drink, and those cocktails aren't calorie free. Alternate alcohol with water or another calorie free drink. And don't combine alcohol with caffeine. Caffeine speeds up the rate at which alcohol is metabolized, and it masks the effect of the alcohol.

Eat before you go. Don't go to a party starving. Eat a hard-boiled egg and an apple, a banana with some peanut butter or a slice of turkey. The protein will fill you up for few calories. You'll be less likely to binge if you're not overly hungry.

Treat appetizers as a meal. If you're going to eat 400 calories worth of appetizers, know that that's your dinner. Don't expect to go home and eat a "real" meal.

Survey the spread before you fill your plate. Confronted by so many rich foods, you might want to start piling up the food, but stop and take a deep breath. Think before you serve yourself (and try to serve yourself, so you control the serving size).

Keep track of what you're eating. Don't mindlessly eat, and try not to eat and make conversation at the same time. If your eating and drinking is spread out, you might not realize how many calories you're eating. Just because you're not eating an entire meal doesn't mean that those are free calories.

Buddy up. If you're worried about eating too many sweets, share your dessert with someone else. You'll eat less and not do as much damage.

Use a smaller plate, or commit to just one round of food. Don't pile your food so high that's it's falling off the plate.

Be choosy, and stick to proper serving sizes. Take only those foods you really like, and don't overload on them.

Bring a dish, if appropriate. If you bring something healthy, like salsa with vegetables, whole-grain crackers and light dip or a large salad, you know there's at least one option for you at the party. Take small helpings of other dishes and load up on your healthier one.

How do you stay on track at a party?

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  • 80
    I don't usually have a problem at parties, I am a picky eater. I always bring a healthy desert ( fresh fruit in season) a homemade hummus with yummy veggies and whole wheat pita bread cut into thirds). There is NEVER any left when I get my dishes to take home. Which proves that people really would choose healthy food if was available and plated nicely. - 8/12/2012   7:58:55 AM
    I try to stay on the opposite side of the room from the food table. Out of sight, out of mouth. - 11/30/2010   5:49:31 PM
  • 78
    I did the Fat Flush Plan (Louise Gittleman) in June and went to a party and was very good knowing I could only eat specific types of food. I ate but I made healthy choices that the plan allowed. At get- togethers in July I didn't do so well because I wasn't on a specific plan. I found a healthy eating plan in Health magazine with specific foods to eat. I went to a gathering and did fine because I knew I had to stick to that plan (specific vegetables, fruit, lean protein, dairy, healthy oils, whole grain breads). Last May we had all kinds of end of the year parties, luncheons, and dinners. I did great because I had the Rules I set which I learned in The End of Overeating by Kessler. In July I let my Rules slip. Now I am back to keeping my Rules. Eventually you can ease off the Rules you set but first you have to get the craving for high fat, high sugar, high sodium foods out of your system. - 9/6/2010   11:08:49 AM
    I believe the trick is DECIDNG beforehand what you will do when you arrive at a party and then sticking to the plan. I also have a celebration to attend this weekend and this was a great reminder of what I need to do to maintain my plan. WE CAN DO IT! - 3/16/2010   8:18:49 AM
  • 76
    will have to eat a real meal before i go to the next party. thanks for all the tips! - 3/15/2010   10:05:40 PM
  • PRESHA911
    I stay on track at a party by eating something before I go (so I'm not so famished I eat everything in sight). Also, I stick to eating one or two things instead of sampling a little bit of everything. I find that I eat fewer calories that way. - 3/15/2010   12:40:02 PM
  • 74
    I try to make sure there's a salad with fat-free dressing there, by making one if necessary, and only eating that and picking at a chicken wing or two. Wine takes care of the rest of my allowed calories at a party anyway - 7/1/2009   5:38:33 PM
    very interesting information there are a lot of things that I am learning about me. - 3/12/2009   8:01:30 AM
  • 72
    I have a party this cominng weekend so these tips are going to be handy. Thank you. - 2/18/2009   8:03:42 PM
  • 71
    Great tips. Thank you! - 2/4/2009   3:59:48 PM
    This is really helpful for me right now. I have gained 35 pounds in the last 2 years because of illness and I am finally feeling good and want to lose the weight. I don't know how so every little tip is helpful. I have to attend a work get together witch always consists of a food fest and I will bring something healthy and will eat some protein on the way. The get togethers are always a hoot, but everybody leaves feeling stuffed. I am going to set a trend and leave feeling good - maybe the rest of them will follow suit and we can have some healthy get togethers. - 2/4/2009   7:32:53 AM
    Your tips are brilliant. I always dread a party as it is almost a certainty that I will over indulge and now I have the tools I need to be in control. Thanks so much. xxx - 2/4/2009   12:50:20 AM
    Your tips are brilliant. I always dread a party as it is almost a certainty that I will over indulge and now I have the tools I need to be in control. Thanks so much. xxx - 2/4/2009   12:50:19 AM
  • 67
    Thank you Stephanie for your great tips. - 2/3/2009   9:09:50 PM
  • GR8MOMB2
    Great tips . . . I always seem to overeat at parties. - 2/3/2009   11:43:17 AM
  • 65
    Great ideas for parties. Volunteered to bring an appetizer to a party tonight then found out it needed to be a Valentine theme. Bringing a cucumber cup filled with lobster & vegetables with a pickled beet heart. Solved that problem. - 2/3/2009   10:29:22 AM
    I did not read ALL the posts, so sorry if this is a repeat, but...What I took from the Caffine speeds up metabolizing alcohol" comment was that it makes the alcohol ENTER your system faster, not that it helps you get sober faster. But that it makes you feel and/or look like you are more sober-thus the "wider-awake drunk" syndrome. So, you may be more likely to get drunk or drunker, but seem or feel less drunk at the same time. - 2/2/2009   5:34:56 PM
  • 63
    I usually eat a healthy, satisfying meal beforehand. I'll usually bring something healthy as well (if asked), and I usually want the host/hostess to know I'm appreciative of their foods, so I'll get a small dessert plate and put one small piece of each dish on the plate and share with a friend. Then, I'll usually go home feeling guiltless! :) - 2/2/2009   1:26:29 PM
  • 62
    I usually eat a healthy, satisfying meal beforehand. I'll usually bring something healthy as well (if asked), and I usually want the host/hostess to know I'm appreciative of their foods, so I'll get a small dessert plate and put one small piece of each dish on the plate and share with a friend. Then, I'll usually go home feeling guiltless! :) - 2/2/2009   1:26:28 PM
  • 61
    The "Commit to just one round of food" tip is extremely helpful! I just get my favorites in good portions and eat slowing and enjoy! Then tell myself ok you've eaten! Time to chat. If there is a lull in the conversation and I need an excuse to step out instead of heading back to the food I grab a glass of water. - 2/2/2009   11:17:29 AM
  • 60
    Just say NO. - 2/2/2009   2:37:01 AM
  • HAPPY27
    I found that improving my communication skills , helped me to talk to more people and enjoy myself more, while avoiding the snacks, I worked with an advisor from http://www.howsme.com and this increased my confidence. - 2/1/2009   12:43:44 PM
  • 58
    Oops, Daytona 500. - 2/1/2009   12:34:45 PM
  • 57
    This also applies for Dayton 500 parties! Thanks! - 2/1/2009   12:32:26 PM
  • 56
    Not going to any superbowl party :P But, yes I always have something small but filling to eat before going out and have lots of water. - 2/1/2009   12:29:01 PM
  • 55
    Thanks but no party for me i will take my daughters to the movies and my husband ans son can watch the game and eat like pigs not me i will be a good girl.. i will not eat there junk i will not eat that any more.. i did find at Costco today chip made out of veggies like 3 gm of fat so if i want them then i can have them.. - 1/31/2009   11:14:12 PM
  • 54
    We're having a Super Bowl party tomorrow. Although we will offer lean turkey or ham and cheese sandwiches and a few chips, we will also have a veggie plate, a relish plate with pickles, onions and olives and a fruite plate. We will offer beer, white wine, apple juice, orange juice, lemonade and ice water. There will also be a cheese plate and dry roaste nuts. I will make a few cookies to have for sweets. Our parties always have an abundance of fruits and veggies. Surprisingly enough, there are never any of them left at the end of the everning! - 1/31/2009   11:07:43 PM
  • 53
    all the hints are good-what works for me is to drink a large glass of water and eat a large apple just before the party and i stay full for hours. - 1/31/2009   10:24:34 PM
  • 52
    At my last little get-together, I completely avoided the food. I had a protein bar before I went, and I engaged in conversation, rather than eating. It was tough, but I had no regrets afterwards. - 1/31/2009   10:22:45 PM
  • 51
    These tips are great! I'm definitely going to keep them in mind tomorrow as I face my first party since starting my weight loss journey. - 1/31/2009   9:49:14 PM
  • 50
    with super bowl parties abounding, this is good advice. - 1/31/2009   9:15:02 PM
    I survived a wedding reception --- they had sushi platters & I was able to load up on delicious fish instead of sandwiches and red meat. I only ate a bit of the rice. Even though our table was right next to the desert table, I somehow ate just one tiny macaroon with some chocolate...my treat for the day.
    This was my first "party" since I started this weight journey, and I was surprised at how good I was. I drank 4 bottles of water prior to and during the feast... a BIG help! - 1/31/2009   8:58:29 PM
  • 48
    I eat before the party and put a baggie of baby carrots in my purse just in case. I drink lots of water and avoid alcohol. I just enjoy seeing people and conversing. - 1/31/2009   6:52:32 PM
  • 47
    OOPS! I meant "filling up" or "feeding"... LOL - 1/31/2009   2:15:28 PM
  • 46
    I have very hard time staying on track at parties. That is why I avoid going when I can.

    Now for the times I won't have the option to not attending, I will try to remember your good recommendations. Being a Vegetarian certainly helps me to not get anything that passes around but I end up feeling up on crackers and cheese.

    At the Christmas party I attended last December they had that scrumptious "Creme de Gorgonzola" - I am sure you know how delicious but sooooo fat it is... LOL - and I lost complete self control over it... [sighs]
    - 1/31/2009   2:14:06 PM
  • KAH039
    I have now started to do a walk by to see what foods are there and then put healthy choices on my plate. Also drinking water before hand is a really great idea! - 1/31/2009   1:47:15 PM
  • 44
    All are great tips! I eat before I go to a party so I'm not as tempted. I also find that if I have a drink and a small plate of something in each of my hands, people are less likely to push something on me that I don't want. Last but not least, that drink that is in my hand is not alcoholic. Alcohol will make me as hungry as a bear, and with lower inhibitions, I will eat like one, too. - 1/31/2009   12:58:57 PM
  • 43
    Great tips! I too hide a snack bar or small bag of baby carrots in my hand bag to make certain there is something healthy to eat. It helps that I must eat gluten-free. :) - 1/31/2009   12:50:07 PM
  • 42
    I am not a party goer, but these are great tips. Thank you so much!! I always drink lots of water before I go anywhere and carry a bottle with me also. - 1/31/2009   11:54:24 AM
    Great advice! I usually "survey" what's available before I fill my plate and I only allow myself one plate of food. I often will hold a bottle/glass of water in one hand while socializing as well. You can't eat if both hands aren't free! - 1/31/2009   11:03:08 AM
  • DAWNB14
    Excellent reminders! I always try to fill up on the veggie/relish tray before I hit anything else. That way I'm so full, I won't be tempted to overindulge on the greasy, fattening foods. - 1/31/2009   10:32:36 AM
    Thanks, I do tend to be a mindless eater. Serving size of only 5 healthy chips just doesn't feel right when others eat mindlessly on the unhealthy stuff. No one said life is fair! - 1/31/2009   9:46:11 AM
  • 38
    Very good advice. I usually wait to see what's being served and then decide what I'll have which is usually some veggies and fruit and maybe some sort of chicken if it's available. I usually drink water or club soda. - 1/31/2009   9:41:52 AM
  • JUDYANN069
    since I'm the one giving the party I hope to be too busy to overeat! I definitely will have the veggies and the low cal chicken wings though. The rest is up to the guests. Go Steelers!! - 1/31/2009   8:57:16 AM
  • KAREN214
    I alway have a drink in my hand that keeps me from eating more wiht only one hand. I help the person who has the party get ready or clean up. I also limit myself to one plate and start off with foods that I will really enjoy and do not have everyday and that usually keeps me satisfied. - 1/31/2009   8:24:59 AM
  • 35
    Thanks for the article however I was reading someone else comments and they had something diffrent to say about the coffee part. Is there anyway to check and make sure it's accurate. - 1/31/2009   7:16:57 AM
  • 34
    Thanks for the info and great tips. - 1/31/2009   5:10:55 AM
  • 33
    When you give coffee to an intoxicated person, all you get is a wide awake drunk. Otherwise, good tips. - 1/31/2009   3:43:06 AM
  • 32
    Ohh and the comment of alcohol...any carbonated beverage helps the drug (alcohol) into the blood stream quicker!!

    P.S. sorry about my type o's - 1/30/2009   11:24:44 PM
  • 31
    I like to drink lots of water. If I am drinking alcohol especially. One 12 to 16 0z glass of water for every drink. I do not get wasted and do not mindlessly drink while having a good time with friends and family.
    Having some good for you food before you go helps also. You do not show up hungry and find yourself eating what you know is not good for you in large amonts.
    Ohh and that water helps curb the eating as well.

    : ) - 1/30/2009   11:22:07 PM

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