November 1, 2018

“Event” season is upon us. Halloween, Melbourne Cup, end-of-year functions, Christmas, New Year… It’s a load of fun with a sprinkle of stress, but too often poor choices show up on the scales the following morning. Too many drinks, nibbles and late nights can sabotage your weight loss efforts.

Rather than just writing off the season – like so many do year after year – what about trying something different? And no, we don’t means staying at home and eating lettuce leaves instead.

How appealing does it sound to go to the events armed with a strategy, and enjoy the event and your long-term results? It’s totally possible.

Planning ahead

  1. What are the ‘not negotiables’ of the event?

It’s not necessary to spoil all your fun, so think about the event you’re attending and decide what you’re willing to indulge in.

  • A Cup Day lunch can’t possibly start without a glass of bubbles.
  • Prawns galore at the end-of-work buffet dinner.
  • The pre-Christmas catch-up with friends – Jenny’s potato salad is amazing!
  1. What are the ‘gee, that would be nice but I’d rather not’ aspects?

Now think about the things that you would normally enjoy but know are dangerous.

  • Bread rolls on side plates.
  • Corn chips and dips.
  • All-you-can-eat smorgasbord.
  • A generous host who keeps refilling your glass.
  1. Plan your strategy for handling these situations. Decide on a plan now, well before you arrive at the event, and then stick to it.
  • On arrival, grab a glass of sparkling water and hold it in your drinking hand. Hold your handbag in the other hand.
  • Locate the nibbles table, and stand on the other side of the room.
  • Quietly ask the waiter to remove (or not put down) the foods you’re avoiding. Making your request quietly is the key – making a fuss does not make for an enjoyable event for anyone.
  1. If possible, talk to the host before-hand and explain that you have some dietary intolerances – meats and vegies are fine for you. At a restaurant, peruse the menu online and make some decisions before even leaving the house.

Event Day

  1. Eat a meal before the event. That way, you don’t turn up famished and chase the wait-staff around the room looking for more nibbles.
  2. Have a large drink of water in the car on the way to the event. You’ll arrive more hydrated, and won’t gulp down your first drink to satisfy thirst. Wine is not a good thirst-quencher, anyway.
  3. Wear your closest-fitting clothes. You won’t want a ‘food-baby’ in a slim-fit dress.
  4. Talk to others. Ask them questions, and be genuinely interested in their responses. You won’t have time or presence of mind to worry about what you might be ‘missing out’ on.
  5. Dance, walk, move, stand. As much as possible, avoid being seated. If you can’t avoid it, make sure to engage in conversation to keep your mind off the foods and drinks.
  6. If you stray away from your plans, forgive yourself and get back on track. Eating a spring roll that you didn’t plan does not justify then drinking 4 glasses of wine, eating the bread and dessert, and then feeling lousy in the morning.

Enjoy yourself. Avoid dwelling on what you’re missing out on, how unfair it is that you can’t eat something, or that you can’t wait till you can ‘go back to normal’. Feeling deprived is detrimental to your plans, so focus on what you can do, not what you can’t. You might surprise yourself and have a great time!