Avoid These 3 B.A.D. Decisions When Eating at Parties
Have you ever heard someone regrettably say, “My eyes were bigger than my stomach?” When fatty foods are spread out in front of you, it’s easy to fall victim to temptation and eat too much and eat too many of the wrong things. But before you reach for the cookie tray or grab another glass of bubbly, make a nutritional game plan to help safeguard your health.
Having fun with family and friends is an enjoyable and necessary part of life. However, it’s easy to get swept up in the moment and lose control over your well-established healthy habits at family functions. So how do you “party hearty” while maintaining the discipline of a brain-healthy lifestyle? I recommend avoiding these three B.A.D. eating decisions at every party you attend.
‘B’ is for Bread
Bread is bad for you. Unfortunately, it’s also ingrained in the American diet and is present at every meal in many households. But just because the package says the bread is whole grain doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Bread, which contains high amounts of carbs and gluten, can also increase blood sugar and cardiovascular risk. In addition to gluten filled sandwich bread, rolls, biscuits, and breadsticks, also beware of pretzels, crackers, and even croutons on otherwise healthy salads.
‘A’ is for Alcohol
Alcohol is NOT a health food. While it’s well known that alcohol is bad for the immune system, heart, and liver, it also can cause bacteria to grow in your gut. In addition to its many harmful effects on the entire body, alcohol has significant negative impacts on brain functioning. However, since alcohol is customary at some social functions, like weddings, it is recommended that if you must drink to do so responsibly.
‘D’ is for Desserts
Desserts are the downfall for many people. After all, who doesn’t enjoy something sweet from time to time? The trouble with most desserts is that they’re loaded with sugar and fat. The danger inherent in a dessert bar is that the abundance and variety of options can tempt you into trying more than one selection or going back for seconds when a particular treat tempts your taste buds. Try to skip the dessert bar altogether and seek out healthy alternatives like whole nuts, or a healthy chocolate bar.
So what are some good decisions you can make the next time you’re presented with a host of unhealthy food options? Here are three practical tips for maintaining a healthy diet at any social function where food is served:
Eat Before You Greet
Before going to a gathering or party where unhealthy foods will be served, eat a brain healthy meal before you go. That way, you won’t feel hungry and will be less likely to eat foods that are high in fat and sugar. Strategically, also try to leave some room for any healthy food that might be at the party.
Pack a Snack
People sneak their own food into movie theaters and concert venues all the time, so why not to a party? To avoid a “snack attack,” bring along healthy snacks when food options are limited. If you had a million-dollar race horse, would you feed it junk food? Of course not! So why not treat your body the same.
Emergency rations can also be a lifesaver in the case of cravings brought on by low blood sugar. Examples of healthy snacks are sugar-free dried fruits (raisins, cranberries, and cherries), vegetables (baby carrots, celery, and snap peas), and nuts (almonds and walnuts).
Know Your Limitations
Before heading off to any party, determine how much food (being mindful of caloric intake) you will eat and how much alcohol (if any) you will consume. Know when to walk away from the table once you’ve reached your limit. Parties tend to lower resistance, circumvent common sense and encourage excess. To increase your chances of success, it’s best to set guidelines before arriving.
Avoid the three B.A.D. party habits and follow these three tips for healthy eating to safeguard against setbacks in your diet and to ensure that you won’t be tempted to engage in “binge eating” at the next party you attend.
And if you’re hosting a party, there are a wealth of brain healthy recipes to choose from in The Brain Warrior’s Way Cookbook.
At Amen Clinics, we want to help you learn more about your brain and how you can make it better, not only for yourself but for the generations that follow. Call us today at 888-288-9834 or visit our website to schedule an appointment.