Q: I really am committed to getting healthy this year, but before I even get a good start, here comes the temptation of Mardi Gras. How can I not blow it?
A: Uh oh… Just when you thought you were sticking to your resolution to be healthier, along comes Mardi Gras! How quickly visions of sugarplums get replaced with cravings for king cakes. Well here are a few strategies to keep you on course through the carnival season:
The party isn’t all day long.
Maybe it is, but more than likely not. And just because you will be attending a parade or party, doesn’t mean you’ll have to blow the entire day. Pace yourself at breakfast and through lunch with smaller, protein-based meals, reserving your fat and carb count for later at the event.
Eat before you go.
Eat a small, healthy, high protein meal before you head to the festivities. This will keep your blood sugar more stabilized, preventing you from being ravenous and less likely to over indulge.
Don’t quit the program just because it’s party time. Sticking with your exercise program will keep you feeling good about yourself, and you will be less inclined to go way overboard when choosing festive delicacies.
Dress to eat less.
Wear a tight-fitting outfit or a pair of jeans that you look great and feel good about yourself in, AND that won’t allow you to eat too much.
Make the calories count.
Scout out the spread and choose small, taste-size portions of interesting looking dishes you would like to try. Don’t waste calories on familiar foods to try. Don’t waste calories on familiar foods and remember portion control-little nibbles add up to large savings.
Drink, drink, drink Water.
Make sure to drink plenty of water before (and during) the party. This will not only help fill your belly, but hydrate you when you are drinking alcohol. And remember, alcohol is festive, but with little redeeming nutritional value – just lots of empty calories and often hidden fat and sugar.
Keep it in perspective.
If you eat more than you had planned at a particular function, that doesn’t mean that you’ve blown it for the entire season, try to return to your normal healthy eating habits the next day. Your attitude about reaching your goal is just as important as the foods you choose.