It's Your Party, But I'll Eat What I Want To! Tips and Tricks to Surviving Social Events On A "Diet"
The weather is getting nicer, summer is upon us, and that can only mean one thing (well, probably more than one thing, but anyway…) picnics, cookouts, and social gatherings, oh my! While these soirees should induce happiness, they can make us experience some worry if we are currently on a diet or trying to avoid certain food groups. The opportunities to have a slip-up are seemingly insurmountable, as who wants to turn down Aunt Mary’s seven-layer taco dip, Grandma Helen’s magical peanut butter cookies, or mountains of pizza and wings?
I know that family functions and social gatherings were really difficult for me when I was first starting out with my new “diet” (first I went gluten free, then GF + dairy free, and I finally built up to the autoimmune paleo diet). Picture me posted up in front of the cheese platter shoving Pepper Jack by the handful into my face. I was supposed to be avoiding dairy at that point in time, but I had no self-control.
When I was able to exert some willpower, it all went out the window as soon as someone would press me about turning down food. I never thought I would be peer pressured into eating pasta salad, but low and behold, there I was, eating food off my plate knowing that my stomach would hate me for it moments later.
Looking back, there were a number of things I could have done in these scenarios to avoid feeling bloated, getting cystic acne flare-ups, brain fog, etc. Thankfully, I’ve figured out a good system to navigating fun events that are centered around food so I don’t have to miss out on the party and also won’t spend the rest of my evening in the bathroom as a result (sorry, it’s nearly impossible for me to go a post without making some toilet joke/reference ;-)).
Even if you don’t need to avoid certain foods like I do, I’ve witnessed countless people strolling into work after a holiday weekend upset about their food choices at the 4th of July party or graduation celebration. So, it might be advantageous to keep reading so you can feel proud of your choices and feel empowered as well!
Without further ado, here is my crash course to surviving parties, picnics, cookouts, and more!
1) See what food other people are bringing to the event/what the host(ess) has planned for the menu.
2) Bring your own food to the partayyy – food that is just for you to eat so you don’t have to worry about being hungry at all.
3) Make a dish that you can share with other people so that they can have a taste (ha ha ha) of what types of food you can eat.
4) Mentally prepare before you get to the party and come up with goals for yourself.
5) You may even want to practice what saying “no” looks like so that you feel confident in that script.
NEWSFLASH: not everyone who turns down food is doing so because they want to be ~skinny~. Some of us truly cannot tolerate certain foods, so show us some compassion or understanding please :-)
Hopefully some of these ideas will help you out as the party invitations start rolling in. Some of these notions are pretty self-explanatory and maybe obvious, but it does take some time to get in the habit of enacting them! At the very least, just know you always have my support in deviating from the norm when it comes to dining etiquette during the holidays (LORD the number of comments I got from some family members when I whipped out purple potato hummus…) and other functions.
Any of my readers have suggestions that can help us stick to our guns and feel comfortable in these settings? Let me know in the comments section!
Until next time!