Saturday, August 14, 2010

Don't let social situations ruin your diet.

When you leave town for a few days, be it for a business trip or vacation, the biggest challenge you will face is not airport security. It's the potential for diet demise. At home, you've got a routine that involves structured meals at specific times of the day. On the road, all hell breaks loose as you venture into the unknown. And quite often, the unknown includes social gatherings that tend to center themselves around food.

You can combat some of the stress associated with the potential for diet demise by packing a few of your favorite snacks, which is what I did when I headed out to Jackson Hole for my friend's wedding. It helps, but it's not always enough (see photo, my dinner plate at the reception). But again, social situations do not have to ruin your diet. Try out the following tips next time you go on a business trip or vacation (or even if you're just going to a backyard party down the street).

1) Be a one-plate wonder at the buffet line. Grab a plate and fill it with appropriate portions of the healthiest options. Turn around and don't look back. Unless you forget to grab a fork.

2) Eat a healthy snack before you head to a cocktail or dinner party. Choose foods that contains protein and/or fiber, both of which can make you feel full. That way, you won't be tempted by less-than-nutritious appetizers. But if the apps ARE nutritious, by all means—taste one! (Key word: one.)

3) Drink lots and lots of water. Quite frequently, we humans have a hard time distinguishing between thirst and hunger. Especially when we lose track of time or when our schedules change.

4) Eat slowly. That way, you'll hear your body saying "yo, yo...I need no mo'!"

5) Wear clothing that fits a bit snugly. It will remind you not to eat too much. (I hate feeling like a sausage link, don't you?)

6) Get some rest. Only the sharpest of minds can stay alert to the temptations that bring a diet down.

7) Ask yourself: Do I really...REALLY need to eat that? Or do I want it. If you want it, maybe you don't need to eat it after all. Even if it does look like the greatest gift ever created for taste buds.

8) Don't worry about offending a host or restaurant by not eating your entire meal. Yes, there are starving children somewhere. But let's be honest, you really can't ship them your leftovers. And the cost of being obese far outweighs whatever portion of your meal you aren't finishing.

Can you add to this list of tips?

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