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Beating the Buffet
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Beating the Buffet

Summertime holidays are full of sunshine, family,! It's an exciting season, but if you're in the process of changing your eating habits, these gatherings can actually be quite stressful. Even if you bring a healthy dish with you, the buffet table will still be packed to the brim with foods tempting to derail your weight loss goals.

Luckily, I've put together the most important tips for staying positive and healthy this summer holiday season!

1. Never Skip a Meal
I'm a huge advocate for eating many times throughout the day, and holidays are no exception...showing up famished to a party is a recipe for disaster! People who skip meals are setting themselves up for failure since it can be much harder to use restraint when hunger pangs have already settled in. Instead, eat normally throughout the day and you will be able to make better decisions later.

2. Be the Tortoise, Not the Hare
No one wants to spend time stressing about food at a backyard barbecue. I find it helpful to stay calm upon arrival and avoid immediately jumping into the food line. Survey the options and take your time thinking about what you want to eat. Once you decide on the best items, make a plate and then step away from the potluck. It's normal for everyone to gather in a kitchen or near the food, but it's much easier to resist those harmful nibbles if you're standing far from the temptation!

3. Don't Focus on the Feast
We tend to place a lot of value on food and its connection to the holidays, but the truth is your family and friends are what is most important. Good conversation and games with your loved ones should be the center of your day! If you hear the potato chips calling, distract yourself by talking to a relative you haven't seen in awhile or starting a game of frisbee with your kids. You'll be surprised how fast the time can go when you re-prioritize these events.

4. You're Not Being Rude About the Food
It's true that talking to your cousin Gina might not help your cravings when she's dipped into the cheese and crackers. I know it can feel uncomfortable or even downright rude to refuse treats on these occasions when everyone is eating together, but you need to remember what is important to you...and that's your own health and happiness. Rather than being defensive about your new lifestyle, engage in a conversation with your friends and family about your goals so they can understand and support you. They might even put down the chips and scour the vegetable plate with you!

5. Keep Calm and Eat On
Your mother-in-law spent hours making her famous apple pie with homemade ice cream, and somehow you wound up with a large slice on your plate...well, it's now the crumbs of the large helping, and you're feeling guilty. Don't panic. If you do give in, the worst thing you can do in these moments is to beat yourself up. Nobody's perfect, especially when faced with a summer party feast. Love yourself no matter what choices you make, and it will be easier to continue on your healthy journey!