10 Tips to Keep from Overeating at a Party


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  109 comments   :  29,509 Views

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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  • 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
  • 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.
    - 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
    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_

    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_
    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
    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
  • 10
    All good tips! Thanks! - 1/30/2009   10:27:15 AM

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