Eating well and being “calorically observant” can be a challenge when you’re staring at heaps of tempting food loaded onto buffet tables, kitchen counters, and dining room sideboards.
Whether it’s a fancy catered affair or pizza, wings, and cold cuts laid out on the kitchen table, why give yourself extra opportunities to shovel chips and dip or salami and cheese into your mouth all night long?
1. Keep your back to the table. It’s one of the easiest strategies to use. We often eat with out eyes – if we see something delicious, we want to eat it. So, don’t look at it. Stand with your back to the tempting food. If you have a drink in your hand – it doesn’t matter what it is – your hands are full and it’s more difficult to grab food to eat.
2. Don’t give yourself ample opportunity to mindlessly shovel food into your mouth. You’re human, so stay out of hand-to-mouth range. You’re far less likely to nibble and nosh if you have to leave a conversation and walk across the room to get to the food.
3. Hors d’oeuvres can really get you. They’re small, but the calories really add up. Make up your mind how many you’ll eat ahead of time and stick to your plan or you’ll have shoved down a thousand calories before you know it. Pick ones you love and avoid the ones you don’t. Why sacrifice your calories for something you don’t love? Try to keep a mental count because when you’re talking and drinking it’s far too easy to grab from each passing tray.
4. When it’s time to sit, choose a seat that puts your back to the food display — preferably one that’s some distance away from it. Having to get up and walk past lots people – many of whom you know – while balancing a plate filled to the brim, can serve as a “seconds” and “thirds” deterrent.
5. Before putting any food on your plate, just cruise the buffet line to eyeball all of the choices. What do you want to do, eat everything in sight or make controlled choices? What’s going to energize you and not mess too badly with the calorie range that you want to maintain? Make up your mind, make your choice, and enjoy what you’ve decided to eat.
6. Engage in conversation. It’s hard to keep shoving food in your mouth when you’re talking.
7. No nibbling while you’re filling your plate – it really tacks on calories. Pizza crusts, pieces of bacon, and French fries are small and easy to forget. Make up your mind not to sample before you sit down to eat and stick to your plan or you’ll have shoved down a thousand calories before you know it.
8. What are you putting on your plate? Why sacrifice your calories for something that you don’t like? Of course, don’t eliminate whole food groups. Even for vegetable haters there’s got to be a few vegetables you’ll eat.
9. Avoid seconds and picking food off of a plate that someone has generously piled high with a selection of cookies and brownies and put in the middle of the table for everyone to share. If you can, shove that plate out of arms’ reach!.
10..If you decide you’ll feel totally deprived if you don’t indulge in something, cut it in half or in thirds and be satisfied with that amount. Always put your food on a plate and push it away from you when you’ve had enough. Keeping the plate within easy reaching distance means you’ll probably be nibbling away at what’s on it until it’s gone.