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10 Tips to Keep from Overeating at a Party

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
1/30/2009 1:53 PM   :  80 comments

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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Comments

  • 30
    There is one BIG problem with the blog entry. Caffeine does NOT increase the rate of metabolizing the alcohol in your body! Your liver can only remove about one half ounce of ethyl alcohol from your blood per hour. That's it. Caffeine has no effect on this rate. All the caffeine does is wake the brain up a bit from the alcohol induced fog, and that is where a real danger danger comes in. Typically, we way overestimate our state of sobriety, and then do some really dumb things like driving under the influence. The only 'masking' effect is the slightly increased state of wakefullness. In essence, all you get is a wider awake drunk! - 1/30/2009   10:00:21 PM
  • 29
    Thanks these are some great ideas - 1/30/2009   9:47:30 PM
  • 28
    Eating before I go does not help! Lucky I don't do superbowl tho! - 1/30/2009   9:43:34 PM
  • 27
    Ok these are good ideas with Super Bowl parties coming this weekend. I think the best thing I will do is take some food that is something I can eat! (veggie platter or the like) - 1/30/2009   7:10:31 PM
  • 26
    I always take something healthy to eat, like hummus and vegies or fruit. I also carry a couple of Kashi TLC bars in my purse to keep me going. Before I leave home, I eat a satisfying meal so I don't arrive hungry. - 1/30/2009   6:35:04 PM
  • 25
    "Caffeine speeds up the rate at which alcohol is metabolized, and it masks the effect of the alcohol." This is why I gave up Jack and Coke years ago. It makes me a 'nut ball.'
    Liquor is the devil in disguise if you ask me. I do love beer though and will bring my own if I am that worried about the calories. Like always, I will eat before hand (high protein) and snack at the party as if it were 1 of my 5 meals a day in the correct portion amount. I will enjoy a few beers as well. Monday morning going running with my boxer and Monday night do my next P90X workout.
    GO CARDS!
    - 1/30/2009   6:03:04 PM
  • 24
    These are great little idea's but I have learned to eat 3 to 5 SMALL meals and you will be fine. - 1/30/2009   5:22:33 PM
  • 23
    Yeah, I'm in the surveyor category. Usually there are only a couple of things that I feel are "worthy", food that I would eat as extra and still know that I have a meal coming up. If the occassion is such that there are a varity of things and I could make a (heathy) meal from it, and not need a meal later then those are truly the best parties of all! Win Win situation-ya know??!!

    Katrina - 1/30/2009   5:10:13 PM
  • 22
    Thanks for the tips! - 1/30/2009   5:00:41 PM
  • 21
    I stay on track by being the house where the party is held. That way I am too busy making sure everyone else is eating and everything stays clean and organized. The activity makes it so I don't do a whole lof of sitting. If I go somewhere, I make sure I always have a glass of water or tea in my hand. That way I don't fall prey to the "idle hands" syndrome :) - 1/30/2009   4:39:16 PM
  • 20
    Perfect timing!!! It's Super Bowl weekend ya know!!! Volunteered to take my "special" tortilla roll-ups.....they don't know that "special" equals healthy!! - 1/30/2009   4:16:09 PM
  • 19
    Always a good reminder. Thanks! - 1/30/2009   3:53:58 PM
  • 18
    This is an excellent list. I can’t really think of anything to add.

    You say to take something healthy so you know there’s something there you can eat. I’ve done that before but I sometimes take something rich that I’ve been craving so I can get my fix with minimal damage. There is almost always someone at any large gathering that can afford to take home the leftovers that I need to avoid.

    And from the post: “…don't combine alcohol with caffeine. Caffeine speeds up the rate at which alcohol is metabolized, and it masks the effect of the alcohol.”

    Really? I wouldn’t personally mix alcohol and caffeine, my stomach wouldn’t like it, but I couldn’t help thinking of all those move scenes I’ve seen over the decades where coffee is used as an ‘antidote’ for intoxication.

    I must have missed the PSA. If caffeine masks the effects of alcohol… why haven’t I heard put that way before? It seems kind of important. - 1/30/2009   3:00:12 PM
  • 17
    I chow down on veggies and fruit, more veggies than fruit though. And I'm not too big on dip so that helps also! - 1/30/2009   2:32:19 PM
  • JUST-AMY
    16
    I just got invited to a Superbowl party today. I volunteered to bring some snacks, and I am going to bring healthy ones! - 1/30/2009   2:25:41 PM
  • 15
    Very helpful thanks - 1/30/2009   2:23:51 PM
  • CAROL_
    14
    PS

    Also I meant to include, I always treat myself to one decadent, to-die-for, dessert. I look over all the desserts, and choose the best one I want the most. If you eat it in small, savored bites, and sometimes drink a bitter drink with it (unsweetened tea for me; coffee for you coffee lovers) then sometimes you are satisfied with just a bite or just taste. Especially after eating the carbs, protein, fruit, and veggies. - 1/30/2009   2:15:34 PM
  • CAROL_
    13
    I drink 8oz water, then eat carbs and a little protein, then drink 8oz water again, before I go to the party.

    Then at the party I concentrate on fresh fruits and veggies which are usually plentiful and usually healthy.

    I try to keep a water in my hand all the time. It is more difficult to balance a laden plate with one hand when the other is holding a glass, or accept more food as it comes by when you already have a plate in one hand and a glass in the other. - 1/30/2009   2:12:19 PM
  • IGIRL66
    12
    Wow, I just blogged about this very issue this morning! I tested out a new party technique last night. I forced myself to use my mouth to socialize rather than eat. I diverted a trip to the bar by complimenting a woman I didn't know on her dress, which lead to a conversation which kept me away from the bar (and high calorie specialty drinks). She then introduced me to someone else, we talked, and that conversation kept me away from the hors d'oeuvres long enough to chase away the temptation. - 1/30/2009   2:08:48 PM
  • CTALBOTTX
    11
    I'M THE ONE GIVING THE PARTY...SO IT WILL BE FUN NOT EATING THE GOOD GOOD STUFF ...I WILL HAVE HALF DIET ... HALF NOT SO MUCH.. I HAVE CONTROLL OF ME WHEN I AM THE ONE COOKING. IT IS ALL THE NEW FOOD ITEMS THAT OTHERS WILL BRING THAT WILL TAKE A LOT OF WILL POWER. - 1/30/2009   1:34:05 PM
  • 10
    All good tips! Thanks! - 1/30/2009   10:27:15 AM
  • 9
    I try to stay away form the kitchen or where ever the food it. If you sit and talk by the food you will more than likely to keep eating it. Distancing yourself form the food is what I do. =) - 1/30/2009   10:21:08 AM
  • 8
    Thanks for the help. This will come in handy. - 1/30/2009   10:13:09 AM
  • 7
    Great advise but don't forget the water! I begin a party by requesting a glass of sparkling water with a slice of lemon instead of an alcoholic beverage. It is more festive than plain water and it helps give me a full feeling so I am not tempted to overeat. - 1/30/2009   7:56:25 AM
  • 6
    Good advice! Now if I can only remember it when that delicious food is put out . . . - 1/30/2009   7:49:20 AM
  • 5
    good article that would always come in handy,but i have a few more tips.i make sure i go to a buffet near the end.when other people have been there first the food doesn´t look quite so appertising as at the start.also with things like peanuts and crisps left in bowls for people to help themselves i avoid like the plague.just think people take some put it in their mouths with their fingers and then back in the bowl for more.who knows what germs they have on their fingers from their mouths and can you be even sure they have washed their hands after going to the toilet.this last thought helps me alot. - 1/30/2009   7:08:41 AM
  • 4
    Fantastic timing! I'm going to a party tomorrow night and although I was planning on eating something at home before I go, there were many suggestions of things I hadn't thought about and that I will put into practise.
    Claudia - 1/30/2009   4:24:25 AM
  • 3
    Great suggestions, I always have good intentions that just aren't quite good enough though. - 1/30/2009   4:01:45 AM
  • 2
    Great advise, I am worried about the SB party I'm going to Sunday. These hints will definitely help. Especially to eat BEFORE the party, I hadn't thought of that. Don't want to be starving when I arrive or I'm more likely to blow it! Thanks! - 1/29/2009   10:03:07 PM
  • 1
    I ead a salad before I go so I might usually jsut ahve a veggie or fruit and a protein since I am already full. - 1/29/2009   2:00:04 PM

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