All-you-can-eat buffets are known diet disasters, but they’re far from the only minefields you’re likely to face.
Plan ahead to avoid these 5 high-calorie situations.
First up is the office birthday party. If there’s a gooey cake every month, suggest a fruit bouquet or bring your own portion-controlled treat to have instead. Another option is to eat beforehand so you’re not ravenous, say experts at Georgetown University Wellness.
Second is potluck dinners with high-carb choices. Volunteer to bring a vegetable-based soup, salad or fruit. Resist the urge to sample everything. If you’re encouraged to overeat, simply explain that you’re watching calories. And remember that the calories in alcoholic drinks — even simple red wine — count, and add up quickly.
Next are street and country fairs. Fried dough, hot dogs, cotton candy —
the choices are rarely healthy. Go on a full stomach and bring a snack in case hunger strikes. Practice portion control when you do indulge. Share one serving with friends.
Number four is the mall with calorie treats from oversized cinnamon buns to enormous ice cream concoctions. If you’re there at mealtime, chow down at a salad bar.
Finally, whether watching a game at a friend’s house or sports bar or going with the gang to the movies, screen time can lead to mindless munching. Before you go to a restaurant, plan your meal. Look up the menu online to lessen temptation once you get there. Before you head to the movie theater, make and bag your own air-popped popcorn and walk right past the candy counter.
Temptation can lurk around every corner. Being armed with a plan will help you fight it off.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has great planning tips for workplace get-togethers and meetings, with specifics on healthy foods to serve.