Be Social Without the Food

We are social creatures.  No matter what religion or nationality, food will always be present at a social event.  With the upcoming fall and winter holidays, the pressure of foods at social events is inevitable.  In order to prevent the weight gain, I recommend to my patients to follow a few pointers.

1. Have Fun. Instead of going out for dinner and drinks, find other ways to be social.  Plan a night of bowling.  This way the evening isn’t based around the food, but the activity.  Food and drink will still be there, but you are not socially based around it.

2. Go out for coffee or tea.  If you haven’t caught up with a good friend in a while, go without the interruptions of a dinner by meeting at a coffee shop.  The purpose of the time is to catch up and not to eat and drink everything in front of you.

3.  Window Shop.  Holiday sales sprout up at stores and decorations coat every window.  Spend a day devoted to shopping without the fuss of buying.  Shopping around now, before the December rush, can help you get what you need before the big day.  On top of all that, you’re out and moving as opposed to sitting inside at home.

4. Plan Ahead.  With all the window shopping be sure to pack your own snacks or mini-meals with you.  Protein based snacks such as nuts, indiviually wrapped cheese, deli meat, or even beef jerky can be pretty portable and satisfying until the next meal.  Be sure to portion out each of these to reduce the calorie amount.

5. Enjoy the Day.  Remember that the reason for the holidays is to be reunited with family and friends.  The holidays can be a drag if they are only seen as a hinder to your weight loss.  Be sure to spend the time with family and friends, and not the food.

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Patrick Nemechek, D.O.

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