Keeping up healthy eating habits during the spring is often challenging. Warmer weather usually means a no-holds-barred bonanza of indulging in your favorite foods at picnics, parties, and cookouts.
With all that great food, you can easily find yourself having an all-out binge-fest. Before you know it, you’ve packed on ten unexpected pounds. The good news is, you can still enjoy outings with a few tricks to keep your appetite in check.
Tip #1: Have a plan
Having a plan before your outing arrives can help you stay on track. Whether you’re attending an office cookout or your friend’s pool opening celebration, decide ahead of time how much you plan to indulge. It helps to find out what will be served at the festivities, so you can map out your game plan.
Tip #2: Mind portion sizes
It's easy to unintentionally consume excess food at a barbeque. Gatherings often feature large spreads of food, and the thought of paying attention to portion sizes goes out the window.
Next time you find yourself at a scrumptious get-together, make it a point to monitor your portion sizes. Arm yourself with reminders of the appropriate portions for common foods.
Tip #3: Don’t go hungry
The idea of avoiding going to a party or cookout on an empty stomach may sound silly, but the hungrier you are when you arrive at a feast, the more you're likely to eat. Try having a nutritious snack before heading to your next outing.
Tip #4: Practice mindfulness
Mindfulness refers to being fully present in the moment. Mindless munching is a major cause of overeating. It’s extremely easy to consume excess food when you aren’t paying attention. Multitasking and distractions increase the likelihood that you’ll eat more than you should during at outings.
This spring when you grab a plate full of ribs, wings, and potato salad, try sitting down to enjoy your food with good conversation instead of distractions. Paying attention to what you’re eating and how much you’re consuming will help you recognize signals that you’ve had enough.
Tip #5 - Get enough sleep
Did you know that missing out on sleep increases food intake? Sleep regulates important hormones that control appetite and cravings. People who fail to get adequate sleep eat more the following day and crave higher calorie foods. Make it a priority to get enough sleep, especially before an important gathering.
Tip #6: Share plates
Spring outings are a time for sharing, and doing so will help keep your intake in check. When you dine out at the next shindig, consider getting plates to share with friends, family, coworkers, and other loved ones.
Tip #7: Fill up on vegetables
When you create your party plates and find yourself piling on less healthy foods, it’s a good idea to balance things out with vegetables. They’re high in fiber and rich in nutrients. The fiber in vegetables will help you feel full and reduce the chances that you’ll overeat.
Tip #8: Bring a healthy dish
Bringing a healthy dish to your next spring bash is a great way to keep the balance between indulging and maintaining your healthy eating habits. You don’t have to give up flavor to enjoy a healthy dish. When spring rolls around, consider bringing a healthy dish to share with others.
Tip #9: Limit or avoid drinking your calories
Springtime beverages can be a significant source of excess calories. It’s wise to save your indulgences for a moderate intake of party food that you’d like to enjoy. Instead of drinking high-sugar, high-calorie beverages, try having herbal tea or fruit-infused water with your meals.
Tip #10: Use smaller plates
A simple trick to tame your appetite at a picnic or party is to use smaller plates. Instead of piling a large dinner plate high with fried chicken, try using a snack plate. Using smaller plates gives your digestive system and brain time to communicate with each other to put the brakes on your appetite.
You can enjoy spring outings without packing on the pounds. And with swimsuit season approaching, you’ll be glad you did.
The providers at Carley Family Care are dedicated to providing the highest quality of care to patients of all ages in Kings Mountain, NC, and the surrounding areas. For quality care for the entire family, call our office or book online to schedule an appointment.