4 Methods to Attend Parties and Still Achieve Your Fitness Goals
No matter what time of year it is, there is always some sort of party, holiday, or event that you’ll have to navigate while working towards your health and fitness goals.
Rather than stressing about how you’re going to navigate social events, you should feel empowered and confident in doing so. I want you to be able to have fun and still take care of yourself whether you’re attending a 4th of July party, Thanksgiving dinner, or any other type of gathering.
Because what’s life without a slice of pie?
Keep reading if you want to know how you can enjoy social events without backtracking on your progress.
You Can Enjoy Events and Achieve Your Fitness Goals
Every once in a while, you’ll find yourself in a situation where your main focus is friends, family, and fun.
But, this time can also bring some frustrations and hesitations.
Here's the thing, you spend countless hours putting in the work
Tracking your food,
Eating your veggies,
Getting your steps in,
Training hard in the gym,
Getting quality sleep, and
Drinking enough water.
But while you are doing all of these things, don't forget that the purpose behind this work is to create a life that you get to experience to its fullest and enjoy every minute of WHILE crushing your goals.
There will be events that make the above more challenging, but it’s not impossible to stick to healthy habits.
How to Achieve Fitness Goals and Enjoy a Party
Now ask yourself, what if you were able to develop some skills and strategies to keep in your back pocket so that you can feel successful and enjoy yourself?
(YES, this stuff is a skill, and you (anyone!) can develop those skills!)
These are some of the tips we encourage our clients to follow to help them navigate social events without feeling like they’re sacrificing their goals.
Stick to the One Plate Rule
If you’re attending a social event with a buffet or potluck, take a look at the food options and decide what you’d like to eat. When you put food on your plate, make sure that it fits comfortably.
You don’t want a plate that’s overflowing with food.
Aim to fill half of your plate with protein and vegetables to stay full for longer. This will also help you feel more in control of your decisions.
Also, if you have the option to choose the size of your plate, shoot for the small or medium-sized plate as opposed to the big platter plates. Research shows that the size of the plate we use actually influences how much we end up eating!
Work Backwards When Tracking
If you’re counting calories or tracking macros, get a head start before you even get to the event.
If you have a big meal planned for dinner or aren’t sure what the afternoon will look like, track that meal first and plan accordingly for the rest of your day.
For example, if the dinner and drinks you’re going to have in the evening are about 1,000 calories and your daily goal is 2,000 calories, split the remaining 1,000 calories into your breakfast, lunch, and snacks.
I get that you don’t always know what you’ll eat at an event, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be prepared.
Load up on protein, veggies, and lower fat options for the beginning part of your day, and reserve a solid amount of your calories for dinner.
I also highly recommend adding in your staples for the day to stay consistent with them. This refers to things like protein powder, workout nutrition, bedtime snacks, greens, etc.
Just because you’re going to be at an event that focuses on more fun foods doesn’t mean you should neglect nutrient-dense foods beforehand.
Enjoy and Pause
Typically, overeating occurs when you eat mindlessly.
You know, when you’re standing by the snack table and chatting with friends while you wait for the food to be ready.
Implementing the “enjoy and pause” trick can be really helpful to prevent overeating.
Enjoy your meal and give yourself 10-15 minutes before you go back for seconds. Have a conversation with someone, people watch, take a walk, or do anything else you please.
The purpose of this is to allow your body to settle and then for you to listen to your hunger cues.
If, after your pause, you still want a second plate, go ahead!
This method allows you to be more in control of your choices and reduces the likelihood of you feeling uncomfortably full by the time you’re done.
Don’t Miss Twice
We’ve all been there and have indulged more than we intended to, and that’s okay! Life happens!
When that happens, the best thing you can do is to move on and get back into your regular eating habits as soon as possible. The aim is to not miss TWO back-to-back meals.
For example, you may go out to lunch with friends, and you guys get lost in a good time and end up going wayyyy overboard with apps, entrees, and cap it off with ice cream on the way home.
You had a normal breakfast and a BIG lunch, so, for dinner, aim to get back to what you would typically eat.
Do that, and you’re back on track without missing out on a fun time with your friends.
Get Help with Your Goals
Finding the balance between enjoying events with friends and family while also improving your health and fitness can be challenging.
I’ve always found that working with a coach is helpful for achieving goals.
At KJO Coaching, we pride ourselves on not only guiding our clients through obstacles but teaching them how to overcome those obstacles so they can continue to make decisions that support their goals even after they stop working with us.
If you’re interested in working with one of the incredible KJO coaches, click here to learn more about our coaching philosophy and how we can help you achieve your health, fitness, and mindset goals.
And if you want a head start on optimizing your nutrition, check out our FREE guide to macro tracking.
You’ll learn what macros are, why you should track them, and how you can use macro tracking to achieve your health and fitness goals without restriction!
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Wansink, B., & van Ittersum, K. (2013). Portion size me: plate-size induced consumption norms and win-win solutions for reducing food intake and waste. Journal of experimental psychology. Applied, 19(4), 320–332. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0035053