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Pre-plan for Social Situations and Avoid Diet Pitfalls

Fabulous dinners and social gatherings happen from time to time. You know -- the kind of events with fried starters, extra-large entrees and tiered dessert trays. For anyone following a diet plan, these may be high-risk, social situations. Fortunately, you can enjoy dinner with friends, family potlucks, holidays and other social events while you are losing weight. All it takes is a little pre-planning!

Here are a few pre-planning strategies to help you successfully marry your diet and social life:

Make a plan based on your menu

● Eat your Jenny entree in advance; and enjoy the fruit, vegetable and/or starch servings from your party’s menu.

● Build your party meal around the food groups listed for meals on your own.

Make sure there are some healthy choices

● Offer to bring a fruit or veggie platter to the party in your RSVP.

● Plan for the holidays too! Check out the Learn library for a Jenny Holiday Menu, and try some healthier, seasonal recipes.

Manage your portions

● Kick-off your meal with a healthy, broth-based soup or low-fat salad to curb your appetite.

● Use a small plate for entrees, desserts and other higher-calorie foods to make portions appear larger.

● Use visual cues such as a deck of cards, a light bulb, a nail polish bottle, etc. to serve yourself the right portion size.

Choose your beverages wisely

● Limit your intake of alcoholic beverages, soda, fruit punch and seasonal drinks like eggnog, which are all very high in calories.

● Use mixers like sugar-free tonic water, soda water, and diet soda for your cocktails.

● Opt for the calorie-free drink options for non-alcohol beverages as well, like iced tea, sparkling water and diet soda.

Survey the scene

● Preview all the offerings before making your healthy meal choice.

● Beeline to the front of the line at a buffet or be the first to order at a restaurant, so you won’t be influenced by other people’s choices.

Be a social butterfly

● Focus on the social aspects of the party such as greeting guests, meeting new people and catching up with old friends.

● Get involved! Volunteer to take pictures, set up games and help the host in non-food ways.

Stay in touch with your goals

● Before taking a bite of food or sipping a drink, ask yourself, “How important is eating or drinking this to me?”

● Ask yourself how your choice will serve your weight loss goal.

You can still have a social life and lose weight -- pre-planning is half the battle! Just stay on track with your food choices during social events, and enjoy what is really important about time with your friends and family.