One of the hardest things about staying on track and making healthy choices as bbq and patio season hits, is attending parties and family get togethers where you may be surrounded by treats, goodies and unhealthy dishes!

I think it’s completely unrealistic to tell yourself you cannot eat any of it. Just like a rebellious teenager, or a toddler in their terrible 2’s; tell yourself you aren’t ALLOWED to have or eat something… and guess what you’ll obsess over? Yep! That thing you told yourself you’re not allowed to have!

So, below are some tips to help you stay true to your health goals this spring, whether it be to avoid your food sensitivities, lose weight, or simply just to feel your best.

  • I always recommend bringing a healthy dish to a party so you know you at least have one thing you can eat that is a healthy choice.
  • Make choices instead of binging. When you get to the party and congregate around the food table that is laid out with a multitude of unhealthy treats and snacks, some of which are screaming your name, simply make choices. Instead of eating EVERYTHING, allow yourself to sample only a couple of the dishes. And I do mean sample. Instead of trying ALL 10 of the dessert dishes in front of you, try only two if you know you really can’t walk away. (The ones you know you’d go home and still be thinking about). Of course avoiding it all together is ideal, but if you can’t — just focus on not overindulging.
  • Never arrive hungry. Eat well-balanced meals throughout the day and enjoy a protein filled snack before you head to the party. This will help keep your blood sugar levels balanced and reduce cravings. It will also help keep you full and satisfied, so when you get to the party you aren’t “hangry” and ready to eat the entire table of cupcakes.
  • You do NOT have to eat everything that’s put on your plate or offered to you when you’re at a friend of family member’s house — it is not rude! You may do what’s right for you.
    Here are some great things you can say when you don’t want to eat something but don’t want to insult someone:

    • “Thank you, it looks amazing but unfortunately I can’t eat _(insert food here)__, not because I’m on a diet, but because my body won’t react well to it and I’ll pay for it tomorrow!”
    • “Thanks so much but I’m really enjoying this _(name of dish you ARE willing to eat) !__”.
    • “Thank you, but I’m not able to tolerate __(ex:wheat)__”,
    • “Thanks! But I’m not really in the mood for (__the double fudge brownies__), I am really enjoying this amazing hummus with the veggies though!”

    Anyone that’s changed up their diet to reach new health goals probably knows what it feels like to hear comments like:

    • “What diet are you on now?”
    • “Live a little, have a piece of cake”
    • “You won’t be able to keep that up forever, so you may as well enjoy it now”
    • and even…”Ew, what are you eating”!?

    Know that most of the time when people ask, or say things like that, it’s stemming from their own insecurities. It’s not really about you, it’s more about them and their own fears being projected on to you.

    It’s important for you to remain confident in your WHY — why you are committed to your health goals, and why they are important to you. Get clear on your WHY and not only will it be easier to stay strong, but it will also be easier to explain to other people so they can respect your commitments.

    Happy BBQing!

ABOUT THE EXPERT
Heidi Richter

Heidi is a Holistic Nutritionist whose passion for natural modalities shone through in her role as Clinic Manager. She worked closely with Healthoholics’ team of practitioners to ensure our clients and patients had the best possible experience at every interaction. Heidi worked as our Clinic Manager during 2015 and 2016.