1. Don’t arrive hungry. Many individuals have the misconception that they can skip meals during the day to save calories for some nighttime munching. This is a big mistake! Arriving to a party hungry makes you more likely to overeat while you are there. Try having a small snack, such as a handful of almonds or a slice of whole grain toast with some peanut butter, before leaving for the party.
2. Contribute to the party. If you’re headed to a friend’s house, ask to bring a dish to the party. This is a great opportunity for you to bring something healthy that everyone can enjoy. Ideas include fresh vegetables and hummus, fresh fruit and light yogurt, turkey lettuce wraps, or chilled shrimp.
3. Survey the spread. When you first arrive at the party, inspect the foods that are being served. Plan ahead for the food items you will choose to eat. Stay away from mayo-laden appetizers and fried foods, as these are often high in calories and fat, and make sure to load up on vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables.
4. Watch the portion size. Before piling your plate with food, try to find a small appetizer plate to use. This will reduce the amount of food you can put on your plate and will likely reduce the amount of food you consume. If only large plates are available, try filling up half the plate. After finishing your plate, wait about thirty minutes before returning for more. Use this time to decide if you truly are hungry for more and if you are, grab more fruits and vegetables.
5. Step away from the table. Once you’ve dipped your food, move away from the serving area. By remaining near the food, you become more likely to return for seconds or thirds. If you step away from the serving table, you can remove the immediate temptation to return for more.
Most importantly, enjoy your time with family and friends. Try to be mindful of what you are eating, but don’t waste the evening stressing about food. By using these tips, you will be better prepared to snack your way through Super Bowl Sunday!
Submitted by:Chrystal Haire, UTK Dietetic Intern