Going to a Holiday Party Hungry is a Bad Idea

Bonnie Pfiester

I don’t know one dieter who doesn’t panic at the thought of the Holidays. When I think of the Holiday, my first thought is extra calories. Even if we tried, it seems impossible to dodge all the food. Rich desserts at family feasts, elaborately catered parties, and Holiday treats at the office are just a few of the temptations. How could any dieter make it through this season without just crawling in a hole?

As I ponder the thought, it dawns on me most people actually set themselves up for failure without even realizing it. It seems to be second nature to try to eat less prior to an event centered on food, such as a Christmas party or family gathering, perhaps even one with a venetian mask theme. We tend to think we should punish ourselves ahead of time – knowing we’re going to eat poorly. At first, this seems like a good idea, but is it?

The one thing I preach is prevention. Since people are more likely to eat poorly if they are hungry, avoiding hunger can help prevent you from making a bad decision. My thought is, if you prevent yourself from ever being hungry to begin with, by eating small meals and snacks through out the day; you’ll be less likely to gorge yourself the night of a party filled with high-calorie treats.

So, we’re back to the party. You have starved all day in preparation for the nutritional disaster. You enter the room and try to hold off swarming the table as long as you possibly can. A dieter never wants to draw attention to them self – especially when it comes to food. When that right time finally presents itself you casually approach the food with all the right intentions – but your stomach takes over. You are no longer thinking with your head. Now your stomach is the boss and it is telling you what to do. You are now obeying its command.

Oh how you wish that hors d’oeuvres didn’t taste so good – but it does. They taste even better than you remember. Why? Partly because you’ve been dieting and that item has not been on your meal plan. The other reason is because you came to the party ravished. Hellooo? Tell me why anyone thought that was a good idea again?

You see, the best way to prevent a disaster, like my little scenario above, is to prevent being hungry. We think a lot clearer on a satisfied stomach. If we eat before we attend a party, we can taste a few items and make choices guided by our brain and not our growling tummy.

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