by Lauren Davies April 29, 2024 5 min read

As the weather heats up with the transition into Spring and Summer, so do the invitations to social occasions. From birthday parties and graduations to vacations and backyard barbecues, the warmer months often come with more opportunities to indulge in delicious food and drinks. If you're trying to keep your health and weight goals on track, navigating social occasions can feel challenging, especially if happen more and more frequently.

Fear not! You can make the most of all the festivities without derailing your progress. Let's take a look at 10 simple yet effective tools and strategies to avoid weight gain as you navigate social seasons, with healthy habits to practice that keep you committed to reaching your goals and maintaining your results no matter the season.

10 Tips to Stay-On-Track and In-Shape

  1. Plan Ahead: Taking time to plan your approach to social occasions ahead of time is a powerful tool to help keep you on track. Look at a restaurant menu ahead of time to consider the options available and the choice that aligns to your goals. If you're attending a potluck-style event, take a nutritious dish to share that you know you'll enjoy. A healthy snack platter like hummus with vegetable sticks to dip or a large fresh green salad will compliment any meal and support your goals. If you have multiple social occasions each week, planning ahead is even more important. You may consider eating a balanced meal beforehand to avoid arriving overly hungry or knowing the options available aren't foods you choose to indulge in, take along a healthier snack and stay consistent with your usual daily healthy habits like your morning workout to balance intake and expenditure.

  2. Practice Moderation: It's okay to indulge occasionally, but moderation is key. Instead of completely avoiding your favorite treats, allow yourself to enjoy a small amount. Really savor each bite and focus on the experience rather than mindlessly consuming or overeating. Pick one or two foods you really love, remembering that you can have more of anything else on another day.

  3. Be Mindful of Portions: Buffet-style setups and endless bowls of highy palateble snacks like crisps or roasted nuts, can make it easy to overeat without realizing. Skip the snacks all together if you're not hungry, they are usually high in calories and low in fiber making them easy to overeat in small amounts. You could use a smaller plate when serving and always take your time to assess your hunger levels before going back for seconds. Adopt mindful eating practices; eat slowly, listen to your body's cues and stop eating when you feel satisfied, not overly full. Restaurant portions are often generous, take half home for another day, share with a friend or order two appetizers.

  4. Stay Hydrated: Sometimes thirst can feel like hunger and lead to unnecessary snacking. Keep a water bottle handy and sip on it throughout the day, especially in warmer weather. Opt for plain filtered water, sparkling mineral water with slices of lemon and some fresh mint, or other low-calorie beverages instead of sugary sodas or alcoholic drinks, which can contribute to weight gain. If you are going to drink alcohol, limit it to one or two drinks and instead of a sugary, high calorie cocktails opt for a single spirit with a mixer, light beer or small glass of wine.

  5. Choose Wisely: When faced with a wide variety of foods, prioritize nutrient-dense choices like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Fill your plate with colorful fruits and veggies, which are not only lower in calories but also packed with essential vitamins, minerals and fiber that makes you feel satiated. Skip creamy sauces and oily dressings, order them on the side to choose the amount that works for you (if any). Opt for grilled instead of deep fried protein, swap fries for a side salad or grilled vegetables and share a desert between 2 or 3. Small swaps can really add up and you'll get just as much enjoyment and keep your goals top of mind.

  6. Stay Active: Don't let social events disrupt your movement and exercise routine and prioritise staying active every day. Going for a walk after meals, especially dinner is a simple yet effective tool with many health benefits including weight loss, playing outdoor games with friends, or getting in your workout before the festivities begin. Not only will exercise help balance calorie intake with energy expenditure, it will also boost your mood and energy levels.

  7. Adopt Meal Timing Principles:Support balanced blood sugar levels by eating balanced whole food meals with a good amount of protein, healthy fats and fiber from fresh produce that keep you full for a good 3-4+ hours and don't lead you reaching for snacks soon after eating like more processed foods would, try finish eating a good few hours before bed to allow digestion to complete and give your body a 12+ hour overnight fast before your breakfast. If you do over do it, you could give your digestive system an break with a one day reset to help restore bood sugar and rebalance increased levels of inflammation from over-indulging.

  8. Practice Self-Compassion: Remember, perfection is not the goal. It's natural to indulge occasionally, and beating yourself up over it will only add unnecessary stress. Instead, practice self-compassion and if you do over-indugle. Reflect and focus on how you can make healthier choices the next time. Our past experiences help us to learn how to improve moving forward.

  9. Listen to Your Body: Self-awareness is your super power, pay attention to your body's signals and honor its needs. If you're truly hungry, nourish yourself with wholesome foods. If you're satisfied, resist the urge to keep eating out of habit or social pressure. Reinforce your commitment to your health goals each day and practice gratitude for your body and health and how you can honor it through the choices you make.

  10. Enjoy the Moment: Finally, don't forget to enjoy the company of friends and loved ones. Focus on the joy of connection rather than fixating on food and drinks. Building memories and sharing laughter are what make these gatherings truly special.

By incorporating these tips into your Spring and Summer social calendar, you can navigate any food-filled events with confidence and ease. Remember, it's all about finding your balance and enjoying life to the fullest while honoring your health goals. Cheers to a season filled with good food, great company, and memorable moments!

Being able to maintain normal to lower blood sugar levels over night is a successful tool when it comes to supporting a weight loss goal or maintaining a healthy body weight. To learn about one very simple, yet effective tip you can easily incorporate to help you achieve your weight goals- listen to this podcast.

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