How Can I Enjoy My Social Life and Not Gain Weight?

Dear Tara Marie,

I will be heading off to college in the fall and want to look and feel my best.  How do I enjoy my social life at school without gaining the “Freshman 15?”

Thanks,  Carla

Miami, FL

Dear Carla,

No problem!  Want to have a social life but still watch your weight?  There are easy ways to be festive but not pack on the pounds.  Here are some tips to keep your waistline in check and still enjoy la dolce vita. When you go out to party remember these…AND have fun!

1. Don’t be a two-fisted eater. Slow down, chew, talk, and keep one hand free to wave at cute guys across the room!

2. Drink smart. If you want to drink alcohol, drink one glass of sparkling water between imbibing in the fun stuff!  This will fill you up and slow down your intake of alcohol (and empty calories).

3. NEVER go to a party famished. There are two reasons for this:  there may not be any healthy fare offered, and also, being hungry will undoubtedly lead to binge eating.

4. No loitering allowed! Back away from the buffet after you have filled a plate, and go to the other side of the room to mix and mingle. Lingering by the buffet table will encourage mindless eating.

5. Size matters! Instead of using an entrée plate, grab an appetizer plate and fill ‘er up.  Our eyes can trick our brains into believing that we are getting more food when the plate looks full!

6. Put order in your plan. Fill up on raw veggies and salads first, and then enjoy the heavier foods that pack more calories per morsel.

7. Workout the day of the party. If you go to a party feeling gorgeous, fit, and at the top of your game, you won’t want to ruin it by over-indulging. You will be too busy fending off flirtatious suitors!

8. Wear an outfit with a belt or fitted waistband.  It is easier to overeat when you wear your stretchy pants, so flaunt your form and suck in your gut!  When your belly expands, you’ll feel the signal to stop eating.

9. Variety may be the spice of life, but it will squash your good intentions! Research indicates that the more variety you offer your taste buds, the more you will want to eat.  Decide which indulgences you want to enjoy, and limit yourself to those few.

10. No talking with your mouth full! Mama was right, but for a different reason: when you are eating a treat, eat consciously:  be aware of the tastes, smells, and sensations of the food.  If you enjoy each mouthful, you will not need as many bites to be satisfied.  Chat and laugh between delicacies!  Focus on what you are doing, and you will not find yourself mindlessly gorging on plates of food that you don’t even remember tasting!

Good luck and enjoy this wonderful time in your life!

~ Tara Marie