Is your weakness to binge at social gatherings though you are particular in what you eat at home? You may be the bigwig in the party as you are mostly invited for family parties, weddings, gatherings, corporate lunch or dinner, gathering with friends, barbecues, eating out at restaurants. The result is that you tend to eat too much while you dine outside, eventually leading to weight gain or bloating or gastric problem, etc. If done in excess, this might further lead to serious medical complications like cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides and adult-onset diabetes.
So, to help maintain a healthy relationship with food and keep the above diseases at bay, let us look at some strategies to fight the party binge and come out healthier on the other side:
Eat a nutritious meal prior
Don’t be hungry and starve entire day before your party. There is no need of saving up your calories for the end of the day when you head to a party. When you are hungry, your portion control goes out the window. You may fill your plate up once with my favourite appetizers and then stop eating. Skipping meals may slow your progress and enhance cravings, increasing the likelihood of another binge.
Drinking on an empty stomach is a bad idea as well. wholesome, real foods will help you drink more, stay up longer, ward off a hangover and keep generally regrettable behaviour at bay.
Some nutritious meal options are:
- Low fat yogurt: A great snack option before you go out. Top the creamy stuff with a sprinkle of granola.
- Hummus: With hummus, eat it with a bunch of raw veggies like raw carrots, pea pods, and cucumber sticks and you’ll get all three macronutrients in one simple shot.
- Salmon: Alcohol depletes your body’s vitamin B-12 levels. Since Salmon is super rich in B12, it helps to ward off the same.
- Quinoa: A high-fiber meal, quinoa slows the stomach’s emptying time which helps ensure that after party binging don’t sneak up and surprise you.
- Almond butter: Almond butter is chock-full of good fats and will help slow the absorption of drinking alcohol.
- Cereal: If you have few snack choices in the house, do not worry. Stock cereals as they are fiber-rich and a good idea to have before a party.
- Eggs: One of the best foods to eat before you do things that cause you to get one in the first place. Rich in essential amino acids needed to help break down some of the binging and drinking aftereffects.
Have a power breakfast and a very sensible lunch as you know your dinner may go haywire. (Though I am sure some strategies in this article won’t let them happen…!!) After all we do not want aches and pains and cramps which may happen due to nutrient deficiencies, insufficient calories or simply too much junk, or too little food, spoiling the party, do you? So, control the meals that you can control.
Go for quality!
For breakfast, go for complex carbohydrates (whole wheat chapattis or bread, wheat Dalia or oats), pack in protein punch (with milk and milk products, eggs) and take care of fibre, vitamins and minerals with fruits.
Keep lunch protein heavy (broiled chicken breast sandwich and a salad make a perfect menu, with a few dry fruits to munch on, so do veggies roll with yoghurt).
Get a power nap or quality rest during the day
You know you must play hard and party hard. So, make sure you rest your body enough. Nights don’t seem to have enough hours. Then steal a power nap in the afternoon for sure.
2. EAT MINDFULLY AND PROPERLY
Avoid diet and adopt healthy eating mentality
Don’t think you are on a diet during a party and starve yourself. Don’t create anxiety or fear during a party as it may trigger binge eating. In fact, if you do that, you would tend to binge more after party. The mantra is to eat sensibly and right! Some options to choose from is given below.
Healthy swaps – instead of…
- Cheese straws, choose breadsticks
- Garlic bread choose bruschetta with lots of tomatoes, onions and herbs.
- Mini sausage rolls, choose cocktail sausages
- Prawn crackers, choose tiger prawns
- Cream cheese dip, choose yogurt dip
- Mini meat pie, choose mini pizza
- Spring rolls, choose sushi
- Peanuts, choose olives
- Last but not the least, if you do not find any of the above, carry your own meal / healthy snacks and don’t shy from having from your homemade healthy meal.
Stick to “special” foods that you wouldn’t normally eat if you were home. Don’t waste calories on fattening dips and preservative sauces, potato chips. Choose baked over fried every time.
3. Social pressure? Say ‘No’
People usually insist you try their food because they want to be complemented. You can indulge them without taking a bite by complementing their hard work and having your reason ready.
Be confident and definitive when you say “no thank you” to a treat. Avoid any hesitation by deciding ahead of time whether you are going to accept a treat or not. Be polite but don’t feel guilty. You should feel no shame about wanting to stick to your goals.
4. Groove on the music
The right intensity, music, steps and a well-monitored diet can help a person burn 400 calories during one hour of dancing. dancing on a regular basis can improve the health of your heart and lungs, lower your blood pressure and strengthen your bones. Dancing also burns calories to help you maintain a fit physique.
After all no one cares how anyone else dances, isn’t it as everyone’s too busy doing their own number on the floor.
5. Stay Hydrated
Remember Alcohol (regardless of whether you have it neat, with water, with fizzy drinks or juice) is very dehydrating. Water and essential nutrients have already been flushed out of your body, leaving you dehydrated and with a headache. Your liver is in overdrive trying to metabolize all that ethanol and the drastic blood sugar spikes and dips are causing major sugar cravings, heavy sweats, dizziness, shakiness, and blurred vision. So, start your water intake early and continue mindfully throughout the day. As a thumb rule, consciously drink extra glasses of water, sip herbal tea every few hours and munch on some Vitamin C rich citrus fruits and veggies like tomatoes, etc. Go for infused water drinks or for lemon drinks.
6. After party, cleanse!
Detox Detox Detox
Cleanse your system from the toxins consumed. Every system in the body needs adequate hydration to function properly. Water helps to cleanse the body and remove toxins. Make sure to drink plenty of water after a party if you’ve had several alcoholic beverages. To help your body retain water, it’s vital to boost your electrolytes.
Probiotic: Very helpful with hangovers, bloating and indigestion. They eliminate toxins and help to fight the junk which is already in your body.
For the hangover blues and cure, the best way to prevent a hangover is to avoid alcohol altogether or to drink it in moderation. If you want to, several foods already mentioned in the article above can help cure the hangover.
Parties are all about enjoying life, networking, exploring and having a quality time with your friends and family. Ask yourself, why are you at this party? You do not want to feel food shame or feel like a food criminal. So, to avoid this feeling, you may try adopting the above strategies. The food struggles which you have will lose their power. After all that’s what parties are about! Focusing on your friends, networking, knowing people and celebrating. So, your motto should be socializing and focusing on them, not the food.