Lose weight while being social? Doesn’t seem possible. Especially now during the holiday season, it’s hard not feel like you have to choose: stay on the diet or be social. And many times instead of forcing ourselves to be bombarded with temptations, we choose to skip the party. But there’s no reason to lose your social life while losing weight. With a little planning and some tactical maneuvers, it is possible for you to lose weight while being social.
Choose the fanciest glass you can find, garnish it, and then fill it with a no-calorie drink. This will keep you from feeling deprived and will help avoid the “why aren’t you drinking” probe. While water is always the best option, tea, coffee or diet sodas aren’t horrible choices. Keep your glass with you at all times (so you’ll have less ability to grab food off the buffet table) and sip throughout the night. If you feel like you have to have “real” drink, there are some good low-calorie cocktail options. Just keep it under control and try and chase any alcoholic drink with a glass of water. It will help fill you up, keep calorie consumption down, and your head will thank you in the morning.
Sure there will be food, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to eat it. Unless you are going to sit-down dinner (in which case, skip ahead to Tactic #3), nobody will know what you eat (or don’t eat) at a party. So instead of camping out at the food table, be social, walk around and mingle. Better yet, dance: you'll get some good exercise, burn calories, you may even end up having so much fun you’ll forget the food entirely.
If you are going to a sit down dinner party, don’t stress, there are still ways to be successful in this situation. First of all, offer to bring a dish. Suggest it under the pretenses of wanting to be helpful, but really, by bringing a dish you will be guaranteed at least one healthy option at the table. And while we’re not advocating lying, telling the host and/or other guests that your stomach has been bothering you, or you had a big lunch and you may not eat a lot, isn’t the worst thing. You still get to be social, nobody is offended because you're not eating their food, and you won't feel like you have to overload your plate.
Don’t go into a party starving. This just sets you up for disaster. Depriving yourself all day, in anticipation of “letting loose” at a party, causes your blood sugar levels to drop and your grehlin levels to rise. So that by party time not only are you going to be pretty grumpy, but all those high-calorie, high-fat options will be incredibly enticing. Instead of starving, eat sensibly all day. Eat your Diet-to-Go meals. When you are eating properly proportioned, nutrient filled meals, you will be in better control. You will be better able to control cravings and actually enjoy the party, not be obsessed with the food.
This year, start a new tradition and make your holiday celebration an active one. Throw a skating party: invite a bunch of friends to a local pond or outdoor skating rink then go out for low-calorie hot chocolate. Or throw a dance party in your living room. Clear out the furniture, get the tunes going and make the party all about dancing. Holiday time doesn’t necessarily have to mean eating time.
Just because you're trying to lose weight doesn't mean you can't have fun. Plan ahead, be tactical and enjoy!