Friday, April 27, 2012
"Well, I was doing so well on my diet until I had to go to that work party, and I sorta blew it." Sound familiar? Yeah, it's not like I've ever said that either. (And this is where I blush and awkwardly try to change the subject.)
We've all been there; we've all done it. It's difficult, at best, to keep up your diet when you attend a work party. So do you just stay home and become a recluse in order to avoid the situation? Absolutely not! With a little planning and self-control, a work social doesn't have to be a diet killer.
The first thing you need to do is plan ahead. When you know in advance that you are going out that evening, plan your day meals accordingly. When you know there are going to be desserts and junk food galore for treats, maybe eat lower calorie foods for breakfast and lunch. Another option is to have a light supper before you attend the party so you won't be quite as tempted (or hungry enough) to gorge.
If your party is a dinner, try to find out what is on the menu. If you are going to a restaurant, many places have online nutrition information. If your party is being catered, try to see if you can find out what is being served. Budget your calories accordingly. If the only option is pasta in cream sauce, make sure you eat a portion consistent with your normal diet.
At the dinner, remember to have some self-control. I know all those pretty snacks look like they are absolutely calling to your stomach, but it's a one-way street often. It is absolutely fine to eat what is being served, but remember your portions. Eat single servings rather than going for seconds. Try to share your dessert with your plus one. Remember that catered and restaurant foods are often higher calorie than the ones you cook at home, so eat accordingly.
So what about the times when you have no advance warning? Yeah, it happens. Again, no need to stay home and watch the paint dry. Just be careful once again. Stick with things like grilled chicken, vegetables, etc. You know what is going to roughly fit in your calorie budget. If you're close to your limit, skip the alcohol and soft drinks.
No matter whether the event is planned or unplanned, make sure you remain accountable to your diet. Track your calories as soon as you get home. Even if you think you absolutely blew it at the social, log your calories. If you really did that bad, choose healthier options the next day.
Work socials are often diet killers, but they don't have to be. With some planning and self-control, they can just be enjoyable events without the nasty caloric side effects.