9 Ways to Not Over Indulge in Social Settings

So you’ve been working real hard with getting your eating habits in check as well as exercising regularly, but now its December and you know what that means… it’s time for friends and family. So what can you do so that you are not upset at yourself and guilt ridden by the end of your next family gathering or dinner party for overindulging in every single dish that was brought to the party? That is a common question and challenge among many of my clients. So here are some tips that my very own clients use to tackle overeating in social gatherings.


Eat something before you leave

You don't have to eat a huge meal before the social gathering. It can be something small from home, or a snack that will keep your appetite at bay. When you arrive at the event or restaurant you will be able to think clearer and choose your meal more wisely. You might even opt for a smaller serving or a more healthful option once you order or serve yourself because you are not having those crazy hunger pangs.

Take your own plate

So if the dinner party is a potluck and you are not sure if anything will be healthy, then take your own healthy versions of a couple dishes. No one has to know that you tweaked the recipe a little by adding less sugar or using whole-wheat noodles.

Keep track how much your are drinking

Many times we end up drinking away our calories and sugar by drinking too many alcoholic beverages, or indulging on that eggnog. This doesn’t mean that you cannot enjoy what this season has to offer. After all, that hot chocolate might be just what you need to warm you up, but do you really need to add all the extra whipped cream and caramel? 

Alcoholic beverages have tons of calories and sugar, which can give you super sugar spikes and still leave you wanting more, so be cognizant of the amount you are drinking. You can even use a tracking apps such as Myfittnesspal or Loseit to see how much sugar and calories you are really drinking. That might deter you or help you drink a bit less. Also, think of the sugary beverage as a dessert and that means, maybe skimping on dessert because you have already had it. Remember it’s all in your mindset.


Pay attention to what you are eating

Speaking of the mind…Eat mindfully. It can be super easy to loose track of what you are eating when you are listening to your cousin’s latest travel story or are in the midst of talking about your latest adventure yourself. When we don’t pay attention to what we eat, we tend to eat faster, and more than normal. This happens so much more in social situations because we just want to enjoy ourselves. So, pay attention to your food, what it looks like and what it tastes like. Take your time to savor it. One thing that works for me is putting the fork down in between bites and only picking it up once you have swallowed all the food in your mouth.

Plan To Do Something Active After The Meal

o   Take a walk,

o   Dance

o   Play sport with the family like football or catch with the kids. On the lighter side of things you can also participate in a game of bocce ball.

Know your triggers

They do say that planning makes perfect, so thinking of what situations can arise as well as your what your triggers are that will surely have you going overboard will help you think about creative and effective ways to manage even the most tempting situations.

And At Restaurants?

o   Share a meal with someone.

o   Ask for a Doggie bag/To-go box at the same time you order and when your food comes, only leave on your plate a single serving and put the rest away in the box. Simple concept of “out of sight, out of mind”

o   Don't want to over do it on dessert? Sharing is caring too. So pick a dessert someone would like to share. You can also look for mini/bite size desserts on the menu.


Overall there is no reason to totally go overboard while at the same time keeping things festive. Feel free to comment below and share this with your friends and family. Your support might ultimately come from them.

For more guidance and support on managing your eating habits in social situations, contact me for a free consultation.