It’s easy to gain a few pounds here and there if you’re not careful. While one or two pounds doesn’t sound dramatic, this pattern can mean accumulating weight over the years.
With just a few strategies from nutrition experts, you can avoid weight gain while still enjoying yourself at parties and big dinners.
Don’t Skip Meals
“In preparation for a big feast, do not skip meals throughout the day,” says Heather Mangieri, registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson. “Skipping meals can result in overeating later on.”
Instead, Mangieri recommends eating foods full of protein and high in fiber that will fill you up and satisfy hunger.
Don’t Forget to Exercise
Even with a busy schedule full of working, parenting and socializing, it is still important to make time for physical activity.
“Make it a tradition to go for a walk after dinner,” says registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy spokesperson Toby Smithson. “It’s a great time to create memories, share in conversation and sneak in exercise.”
Don’t Overdo the Buffet
At buffet-style gatherings, it is easy to overeat and many make the mistake of taking second and third helpings. However, before you return to the buffet table, note that it takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain you are full.
To avoid overeating, Mangieri recommends loading your party plate with lean protein and veggies. “But that poses a problem at many parties because treats and snacks are often all that fill the counter tops. Stay in control by taking your own healthy protein options with you such as turkey meatballs, chicken skewers or a shrimp cocktail platter,” says Mangieri.
Don’t Splurge on Sweets
“It is okay to save room for dessert, but try to choose only one splurge item,” recommends Smithson. “These sweet treats can stick to your waistline and the added sugar may make you crash later.” Avoid overdoing it on dessert and limit sugary beverages.
Use these expert tips to maintain a healthful eating plan, even in the face of big feasts, dessert and special occasions.