Tips to Help Party Bingers

Too Much at the Party?

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been reviewing information about common eating blunders. I thought it would be helpful to continue the series with something that many of us are guilty of: stuffing ourselves at parties. I’ve had several jobs with office parties filled with a ton of food.

Many times I not only ate way too much, but I filled myself up on the heavy foods. Slowly I gained weight from it and I realized I needed to keep myself in check.

office party buffet table
Office parties sabotaging your goals?

Tips to Enjoy the Party and Help Your Waistline

Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink offered some practical tips based on food lab studies that I wanted to share and offer my personal observations and comments on:

  • Sit as far away from the buffet table as you can. It sounds too simple, but when running a test with secretaries, moving a candy dish from their desk to the filing cabinet cut consumption by a little more than half. Making access to the food a little harder can have big results.
  • Limit how many items you put on your plate. Interesting idea – Wansink suggests limiting it to two items at a time.
  • Fill up on the good stuff first. If you want to fill up, then try to eat the healthier options at first. You’ll be less likely to stuff yourself with the unhealthier items from the buffet table.
  • Focus on either people or the food, not both. If you’re trying to multi-task, you could be eating more calories that you want to. That’s because when we’re distracted, we tend to eat more.
  • Arrive late or leave early for a buffet. If you know that you’ll be hovering around the buffet table the whole time, try limiting the time you spend at the party.

I did some of these tips at the last party I attended and it helped. I had a plate for dinner and limited my dessert plate (actually had my husband get it to make sure I didn’t overdo the sweets).

Thoughts on Party Bingers

Bottom line for me is having fun at a party. If I have ot count calories or measure out what I eat, I’d have a much harder time keeping with my goals. I really like most of the tips offered because they’re 1) easy to do and 2) small changes to my routine.

I’d love to get your feedback on this topic. Do you feel tempted to dive into the food at parties? Why or why not? If so, how do you keep your consumption in check?

Photo Credit: anemoneprojectors