Help! Parties are My Weakness!

By , SparkPeople Blogger
My social calendar is full this month with Halloween parties, a reunion and even a belated birthday soiree. While I'm excited to see my friends and catch up on what's going on in our increasingly busy lives, I'm also slightly dreading all those parties.
My weakness is house parties. I'm a fidgety person and an anxious social drinker/eater, so when I'm standing in front of a bowl of snacks (like my friend Holly's irresistible roasted pecans with sugar and rosemary), I nosh nervously. I also tend to drink faster than I should, whether it's wine, seltzer or punch. It's not that I want to overimbibe. I just need something to do with my hands.

I've got some good strategies in place: Drink club soda or water, fill my plate with veggies, etc, but I'm always looking for more.

When you're at a cocktail party or other social gathering where the food and drink are free flowing and seemingly never-ending, how do you resist? Please, share your tips!

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CECELW 11/25/2020
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I've attempted the 'eat before you go' thing and it never works for me. On the off chance that there's nourishment, I'll eat. Furthermore, in case I'm standing and simply chomping off the smorgasbord, it never truly feels like I've eaten.Thing that works for me is to put something on a plate and discover a spot to sit. It's an absolutely mental thing, yet in case I'm taking a seat and eating off a plate, my cerebrum enrolls that I've really eaten. I just savor water ANY circumstance; with the exception of my wedding, I haven't contacted any liquor in the past 2.5 yrs; I likewise don't eat desserts regardless of whether paid yet I do eat salty stuff; nut chips yet commonly nuts.

I don't drink. Report
Good info started to get back to my water.... My skin has been paying the price for not flushing out toxins... ugh! Report
Thanks for the great article! :) Report
Eat before you go ~you'll be less likely to overeat! I have tried it and it works for me! Report
Parties with abundant food sitting around is my weakness, too. I like someone's suggestion to chew gum. My best defense against mindless eating is to stay far away from the food. Make a new friend, talk to someone I don't normally talk to. Report
Thanks! Report
I think it's very important to eat plenty before you get there. That should keep you from eating a lot of foods you shouldn't. You could always stash away some healthy snacks Report
Thanks for the suggestions! I've got a reunion coming up later this month!!! Report
Chewing gum works for me most times. Also, if it is your hands that need to be busy, put something in your pocket that you can play with periodically. Or if you don't have a pocket, how about a inexpensive bracelet with a long chain at the end or a trinket on it that you can fiddle with even on your wrist. No one will notice the nervous habit and you may not eat as much. Report
I would take a large gallon container and a mug of crystal lite or something similar. You don't need the extra calories from drinks. If your must munch or nibble, take with you cut up veggie platter. Be sure there is enough for when you get nervous. Pretzels are also a lo-cal alternative to chips, but be sure to have it pre-measured so you don't over-knosh! Go with chicken instead of beef if they have it, and remove the skin. Everything else can be had in moderation. Of course, if you want to imbibe, try limiting it to one or two drinks. Those calories add up quickly! Best of all Good Luck. Report
I keep a drink in my hands at all times. Not necessarily alcolic drink but soda or juice Report
I try to drink a low calorie drink and only eat the healthy snacks. I often bring a healthy snack so that I know I will have something to eat while at the party. I always allow myself something that is forbidden though. I just make sure that I keep the portion small and that the item is the one thing that will satisfy my craving. I also try to stay away from the snacks when possible. So socializing away from the snack table is always a plus. Report
Dance a lot! If you're dancing, you're not eating. When I get there, I'm looking for the veggie and cheese tray. I don't drink alcohol so, I may have a soda, juice, or water. Report
When going to a party I always have a nutritious snack before I leave home. when i arrive, I scope out the food and plan in my head what I can eat and how much.I have a glass of water in between drinks (wine only) and only get half the usual amount of wine in my glass. I plan exactly how much i can have calorie wise and then i have one plate mid way through the party and that is all. Works very well. My friends know that I am watching what I eat for my health and are very supportive. Report
Honestly, it's a weakness here too! Everyone else's tips are more helpful to me than mine would be to someone else!! Report
A trick I've learned is if you are a drinker, drink one alcoholic drink, then a glass of water. It cuts back on the empty calories of drinking and fills you up so the hors d'ouevres plate is little less tempting. Stay WELL AWAY in distance from the table, distance in this case, definitely helps the heart grown fonder and FITTER! Report
I have the same issue. I always try to find a healthy snack and keep it in my reach so that I am altleast snacking kind of healthy. I also don't fill my cup up so that I don't drink as fast. Good luck and hope this helps Report
I like beer, a lot. So the only way I can be sure not to over do it is to volunteer to be designated driver. Once every month or so I allow myself to have some fun, but otherwise keep it under control. If its a food party I eat dinner before going, then decide on the one thing I REALLY want, and have it. After that I just stay away from the "food table." Report
If I know I'm going to a party, I watch calories earlier in the day then I try to eat something before I go so I'm not so hungry. Once I get there, I try to avoid eating at all for the first hour or so. Once I start I can't seem to stop. Report
I read a tip that said you can have one "naughty" item only after eating 5 healthy items (veggies, fruit, etc). That way you limit yourself and tend to be full by the time you hit round 2 or 3 of your "bad" items. Report
Eat slower. Protion control, drink alot of water or something carbonated like seltzer water. It will fill up your tummy so you are less likely to binge. If there are fruits and veggies eat that first. Report
I like the 'take 3 bites -- slowly' idea. Maybe even only take the amount that would equal 3 bites....Guess I could go wrong there if I tried to take 3 bites of everything on the buffet :-p Report
I just went to a party this weekend and took my healthy alternatives with me. I still indulged a little but I could because I was full of my healthy items. I volunteered to be designated driver so I did not drink. Got to do it all over again for Halloween. Report
It is a weakness of mine no doubt. It's been months since I've been to the gym and when I walked in yesterday they asked me what day I want to schedule my body comp straight answer with no thought was Monday. If I know I'm going to hold myself accountable for my eating, I'm not going to over do it as much (most parties/gatherings are on weekends)...I've proved this to myself in the past, now it's time to get back on track and roll on! Report
I make sure I've eaten enough "good for me" food before I go, that way the other junk food is not appealing. Also, drinking plenty of water fills you up. Report
I always throw an apple in my purse or bag to take with me. As silly as it sounds, I know that I'll have a snack as soon as I leave. Most of the time, though, I do not end up eating it! It's a mind game that works for me. Report
know your weeknesses. i find i can't stop munching when it comes to bread items and chips. For me those items by themselves i can never get my fill so i try to keep clear fo them. Alot of the parties we get invited to are full od chips salsa tortillas and carne asada. i find that if i east the meat and maybe some veggies i know when i'm full and don't continue eating and eating. Another thing i do is bring a large container of suger free ice tea so i am not tempted to drink alcohol or sugary drinks Report
I'm in this situation every weekend, when my friends and I gather for "potluck." I make sure that what I bring is virtually "free food" - a huge raw veggie platter or something like that. (Once I made those pinwheels that someone posted in the recipe section. Served with salsa to dip in, they were a big hit.) Then, after I get my small allotments of the stuff everyone else has brought, I can pretty much nibble to my heart's content on raw carrots and celery. Same on drinks. I usually walk in with some bottled water, and keep refilling it from the fridge.

Even if it were not an "everyone bring a plate" kind of thing, I'm sure that your hostess wouldn't mind if you volunteered to bring raw veggies. Especially if she knows you're trying to watch the ol' calorie intake. :-) Report
I try to eat a healthy small meal before I go to holiday parties, I usually have an english muffin with tsp of peanut butter, a banana, plus a couple glasses of water just before I go. At the party I try to eat the veggie and fruit plate stuff, and so drink more water. Fortunatly for me I am not an addictive eater and most of my family and friends always have good chocies. I do like fudge and sugar cookies so I do have some, but I know I will be logging my food so somehow SP has kept me sticking with moderation. I find a couple good friends and merely sit and chat with them rather then cruise the food tables. Report
I try to choose more healthy stuff and less not healthy stuff. After I'm done, I get rid of my plate so I can't get more. Report
Sounds like your problem is one similar to mine. It's not that you're hungry, it's just that you have to have something to DO. For me I have a few things I do, I have a 'worry' ring (the outer band spins around the inside one) this works well except people notice that you're fidgeting all the time, :P My other solution is to find people I know and chat with them so that I'm comfortable and don't feel out of place looking for something to do. If I'm going to a party where I don't know anyone I try to think of a few safe topics ahead of time so that I have something to talk about with people. Stuff like a book I read or a movie that I've seen. Even if they haven't read/seen it, it open the conversation and I find myself more comfortable and less inclined to snack. :) Report
I find if I eat or drink something with a moderate amount of either fiber or protein that is healthy before, that I eat less later on. Good luck. Report
I will be going to a Halloween Party, also. I am bringing a water and a healthy entree as it will be right after work. Report
Thanks for all the useful tips, readers! Report
This is a hard subject for me. Once I've had a treat, for me it's sugar, I almost can't stop myself. I truly understand how a drug addict feels. I find if I go into the party thinking of what I will or will not eat I stay more in control. understand how a Report
If it is just a party with snacks and not a dinner gathering I alwasy make sure I eat a healthy meal before I go. I may give myself a few motivational talks while I am there if I seem to be leaning toward over indulgence. I'm not always successful, but I am learning NOT to beat myself up about it. Report
I eat a small healthy snack before so that I'm not hungry. Then I walk around with a glass of a healthy beverage and concentrate on the people around me, not the food. I have much more fun that way!

Beth G Report
I know what you mean! I have this weekend coming up this month, its all about food, food and more food! I'll have to go to the gym after that for a month! Oy. Report
I drink a lot of water - all the time. Report
Good news I do not go to many parties. Eat healthy as poccible or just drink water Report
Good topic, make sure you give yourself a "good talking to" before or on the way to the party. Don't go hungry but make sure if you do indulge in something you MUST have, limit yourself and make up with healthier choices. We can not deprive ourselves or we will return to our unhealthy way. Enjoy yourself and keep your hands busy with a tall water with lime or lemon. Report
I'm vegan so I just tell myself that things that look fattening have cheese or milk in them. It usually works. Going home this Christmas might be hard because my family is too accommodating! They will make sure they have plenty of vegan goodies for me, but I will also bring things I know the calories on! Report
Try chewing gum. That helps me keep food out of my mouth! Report