For Summer Parties: Focus On Friends And Family, Not Food

The weather is warming up and summer parties, gatherings, and festivities will begin very soon with graduation parties first on the list. Many of us attend several graduation parties at this time of year, often including more than one party per weekend for a few weekends in a row. With such a busy schedule, most of us do our best to attend each one, maybe not staying for the entire party but just long enough to congratulate the graduate and enjoy a nice meal. This nice meal usually consists of a paper plate full of delectable food and a big piece of graduation cake for dessert. Then, it’s off to the next party where we eat yet again.

There are times when I feel like all of May consists of food-filled parties with Memorial Day weekend providing a big finish to a busy month. Ahhh yes, another food-filled weekend. The grills will be cooking in full force and outings will be planned. Sometimes it feels as though it never ends! FOOD! FOOD! FOOD!

I often refer to this as Summer Feasting Time. Think about it… the majority of summer parties, gatherings and festivities focus on food. But, I want to remind you that we can make healthy decisions when we are standing there with a paper plate and plastic utensils in-hand. Go ahead, scan the numerous items offered… then, take a sample of each but really focus on your portion size.

One Bite Tastes The Same As Twenty

As you reach for that serving spoon, remember: one bite tastes the same as twenty. It’s true, isn’t it? Just enjoy the one bite and move on to the next sample. If you are very hungry, be sure to fill half your plate with healthy items that you know are good for you and eat those first. And when given a choice of meats, chicken is a healthier choice than your typical hot dog on a bun. And please, don’t forget that most beverages offered at these parties are loaded with calories; those calories add up just as much as food items. Water, unsweetened tea, coffee, or diet soda consist of zero calories — a much better choice than a large cup of soda with nearly 300 calories.

Know When To Say When

During the feasting times when you feel full and you know you’ve had enough: stop. Don’t stay focused on the food table, but instead, find a relative or friend to talk to. Maybe take a brisk walk if the party happens to be outdoors, or offer to help the host with a simple task. It IS possible to leave these gatherings feeling guilt-free, knowing that you used self control and you are maintaining your healthy lifestyle!

YOU CAN DO IT! Enjoy these parties and gatherings, but focus on the REASON you are celebrating, not the food. Take more time to let the graduate know how proud you are of them, and on Memorial Day, commemorate those who died for our country. Remember WHY you are at the party in the first place.

These gatherings don’t exist just so we can overindulge on food. Focus on family and friends instead. You’ll be glad you did, and so will they.

Photo Credit: Tostie14

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