Gatherings with friends and family are some of life's greatest blessings! They are a time to enjoy great company, great conversation, and most of the time, great food. But can we still enjoy parties and
get-togethers and STILL stay on track with our health and fitness goals?
Yes, absolutely we can, and we MUST
. Because life is just too short to spend much time worrying about getting off-track while you're with friends and family at special events. I have some ways to set yourself up for success when going to a socialevent, while still staying on par with your fitness and health goals. Let's dive in!
- When you have an event planned (a birthday party, the Superbowl, a day of shopping and wine drinking with friends, etc.), be SURE to get your workout in ahead of time. Many events serve alcohol and if you have a drink, you will find exercising later nearly impossible! It's just too hard to get motivated after being super relaxed. So plan for success and get that workout done BEFORE your event. This goes for vacations, too. Get your workout in early so that you don't have to think about it for the rest of the day! That calorie burn will work for you all day long, even when you're having a cocktail by the pool, or a cupcake at a birthday party.
- If you're going to a gathering where everyone is asked to bring food, this is your chance to bring a healthy dish to share! I think of this as my time to shine and show my friends and family that healthy can be delicious 😃 I make sure to bring a tried and true favorite clean recipe, like my Shakeology cookies, clean Buffalo Chicken Dip, or my Fiesta Dip. Not only does this encourage my loved ones to eat a bit healthier, but it helps ME because I know that there is going to be at least one dish that I can enjoy guilt-free at the party.
16 oz Greek yogurt
packet of Fiesta ranch seasoning
small can diced black olives
small can diced chiles
1/2 cup colby jack shredded cheese
Mix together and serve with blue tortilla chips and veggies
- Bring your own water and drink up before the event. I find that if I don't bring my own water to events, I sometimes find myself not being able to easily get water and then I end up drinking something I wouldn't normally choose. When I come with a water bottle in hand then I know I have a great option throughout the event. And don't forget to stay hydrated leading up to your gathering. Being hydrated helps keep you feeling full so you won't overeat, AND if you end up having a few drinks, it can help you avoid a nasty hangover later. Plus, I always find that if I'm holding a water, I have fewer hands to hold a huge plate of food!
- Your mental game is super important for navigating social events when it comes to food. Think of the event/gathering/party as one spot in your day. When it's over, it's over. There is no need to get off track BEFORE the event, and there is no need to go crazy AFTER the event. It's one part of your day. You might have some treats while you're there, but it does not needto leak into the rest of your day. The same goes for vacation. Pick a meal when you will allow yourself some fun treats, but then isolate them to that meal. One treat meal won't cause you to lose progress with your goals, but a whole week of treats will!
- Know your triggers and avoid them like the plague! Ha! For example, if I have a pop at a party I crave fast food. And the sugar in pop makes me crave more sugar. And before you know it, that stupid pop just cost me 800 calories in foods that provide no nutritional value. Oops! My husband's trigger is ice cream. Once he starts eating it, it's hard for him to stop. So he avoids ice cream as much as possible. Being aware of your triggers gives you the power to avoid them and make better choices.
Guys, I want you to enjoy family gatherings without stressing over the choices you'll need to make. With a little preparation and practice, you will be able to find that social events don't have to ruin your progress, and can actually fit into your healthy lifestyle easily 😃