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10 Tips for Keeping Your Diet on Track at Someone Else's Dinner Party

Are you planning on attending a dinner party and are worried it might derail your healthy diet?

If you have a dinner party at a friend, coworker, or family member’s house coming up, you may find yourself stressing about how you are going to stick to your healthy diet without inconveniencing the gracious host or other party guests. Of course, it is much easier to make smart food choices when you are in control of what is served, but attending a dinner party takes a lot of the control out of your hands.

However, all is not lost. Here are some tips on how to stick to your healthy eating routine, have a relaxing, joyous time, and get invited back to the next get-together.

Don’t Forget to Exercise

Keep up with the rest of your typical healthy daily routine on the day of the event, including getting your workout in. If you get your sweat-session in first thing, then you will not have to stress if the party runs late and you can’t exercise afterward. Additionally, research has continued to find that when you exercise in the morning, you are more likely to make smart food choices throughout the entire rest of your day, meaning it will work out in your favor to get your workout in early. Plus, it will provide you with boatloads of energy throughout the day!

Have a Healthy Lunch

If you anticipate that you may be indulging a bit at the dinner party, be sure to set yourself up for success by having a well-balanced, nutritious lunch that includes lean protein, complex carbohydrates, a generous amount of filling fiber, and some healthy fat. Do not skip lunch or have a measly, next-to-nothing, low-calorie salad because this could backfire, leaving you so hungry and weak when you get to the dinner party that you overeat.

Snack Before You Go

Preparation is key to sticking to your healthy diet when attending someone else’s dinner party. It may seem counterintuitive, but have a light, healthy, fiber-filled snack before you head to the party. This will help you avoid feeling starved when you arrive. No matter how strong your willpower is, when you are famished, you are more likely to derail your diet and reach for less healthy foods or eat portions that are too large.

Let the Host Know Healthy Eating Is A Priority of Yours

Before the dinner party, be sure to communicate with the host that eating healthy is important to you. Inform the host of why you follow a healthy eating pattern — to take care of yourself so that you can be around to attend many more dinner parties in the future. Be sure to tell him or her that you would absolutely love to bring a yummy, nutritious dish to divvy up among the other party guests.

Bring A Healthy Dish

Bringing your own diet-friendly platter will make things easier for you and the host. You can offer to bring a healthy appetizer, side dish, salad, or lower-calorie dessert. Be sure to make enough for everyone who will be attending the dinner party to enjoy a portion. Ask if it would be okay to bring a dish that meets your needs.

Stick to Water

Cocktails, margaritas, wine, beer, punch, and other high-calorie beverages can rack up quickly. Be sure to stick with water to save calories for some of the delectable food the host will be serving. You will want to grab some H2O as soon as you get to the party so that you can hydrate early on and avoid mistaking thirst for hunger (a very common mistake) when the food is served.

Avoid Appetizers

Cheese and meat platters, fatty chips and dip, fried fare — most appetizers are chock-full of fat and calories. Avoid the appetizers altogether, or offer to bring a veggie tray with a healthy dip or hummus and snack on that while you wait for the main course to be served. Also, pass on the bread or rolls if they accompany the meal.

Focus on Socializing Rather Than Eating

Dinner parties are really less about the actual dinner and more about the party! Focus your attention on getting to know the other guests better. Strive to be the social butterfly in the room, asking questions and listening intently. You’ll keep yourself distracted and avoid obsessing over the food, and you’ll likely feel much more connected with the others around you.

Practice Portion Control

Mentally divide your plate into four portions. Fill half of your plate with non-starchy vegetables, one quarter with the protein being served, and one-quarter with grains or starches. Stick to just one plate of food. If the host offers seconds, kindly thank him or her and express how delicious the food was but you are satisfied and do not want to eat to point that you feel uncomfortable.

Offer to Help Clean Up

Not only will offering to help wash dishes and tidy up keep you from mindlessly munching after the meal or overindulging in dessert, it will make you the favorite dinner guest to the host. Plus, cleaning will burn off some of the calories you just took in.

[IMage via Shutterstock]

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