A Dietitian’s Guide to Having Fun at a Summer Party and Not Gaining Weight

wesbl via Compfight


I met with my dietitian, Adrianne, this morning.  A little known fact about many health insurance plans is that you can meet with a dietitian for free up to 6 times a year.  I have Keystone Health Plan East.  Check your insurance carrier to see what your options are.

My weight was up a few pounds since the last time we met in late May.  OK, a few pounds multiplied by 3.  Look, I have had a rough June with 2 vacations including a trip to Disney.  Don’t judge.

We decided that the goal for the next 5 weeks until I meet with her again in late July will be to lose 5 pounds.  This is an easy enough target to get to but also a difficult enough target to maintain over the course of 5 weeks.  Especially in the Summer.

Summers are known for barbecues, pool parties, late nights and drinks with friends.  Margaritas and IPAs aren’t the best beverages for losing weight.

So Adrianne gave me a few pointers on how to approach Summer cook outs and parties.  I thought the ideas were fantastic and wanted to share them with you.


vegan eggplant bacon “blt” sliders Jackie Newgent via Compfight


Tip #1.

Walk around the table before putting anything on your plate.

Think of the last time you were at a party with a table full of food.  If you’re like me you didn’t think twice.  You grabbed what you wanted without a thought of what else could be available.  By the time you got to the end of the line you probably had food stacked on top of each other!!  This is not good.

The next time you are in this situation, take a walk around the line first. Let your brain comprehend what is available for you and then go back to the beginning.  This should help you make better choices and not create a monument of food on your plate.


Tip #2

Control your plate.  1/2 vegetables, 1/4 starch, 1/4 protein.

Controlling your plate with this portion control system in place will help you not overindulge.  What Adrianne recommends is that you fill half of the plate with vegetables.  Corn, salad, maybe a little ratatouille! Whatever is there, this should take up half of your plate.

Use the remaining half for even amounts of a starch, like potato salad or macaroni salad or a pasta or rice, and a protein.  Chicken and fish are your best bets.  If you are a vegetarian or a vegan, you will want to hope that there is a bean salad.


Tip #3

Avoid anything store bought.

Store bought foods aren’t special.  You can get them anytime you want.  There are at least three 24-hour grocery stores within a 5 mile radius of my house.  Most likely yours too.  If you want Giant’s macaroni salad, go out and get it another time.  Don’t waste your precious calories on something like this.

By all means, if your Grandma makes her dynamite pasta salad or homemade brownies then dig in.  Enjoy and savor.  But if your always too busy sister in law runs out of time to make fresh cookies and instead picks them up at the local grocery store, pass.  Just pass.


Tip #4

After eating your meal, get up.

After you have finished your meal, get up and get away from the food.  If you are sitting there with a big bowl of chips and dip in front of you, guess what you are going to do?  Eat the dip!!  Have your plate of food that you designed for yourself and get up and away from the food.  Raw vegetables may be the exception but often times along with the veges you are dipping them into ranch or some other type of sauce or dressing.

A second tip similar to this is to not eat while standing up.  What happens when we eat while standing is we don’t focus on what we are putting into our mouths. We eat, don’t tast the food and then go back for seconds because we want to taste it! Sit down and enjoy your food.  After your finished, get up and away from the food and move around.


Tip #5

Drink 20 oz of water after every alcoholic beverage.

How many times have you heard this?  A ton.  We all know this but how many of us actually do it?


Benefits of drinking water in between drinks

  • Greatly decreases your chances of getting a hangover.

    This is reason enough for me as I get the worst hangovers!  Not getting a hangover will enable you to take control of your day tomorrow so you can rise and shine.  Exercise, spend time with the family, drink coffee without holding your head in agony.  Hangovers make everything worse, drinking water help with this problem.

  • You will consume fewer calories.

    Drinking water in between drinks will probably cut your drinks in half.  If you are a beer drinker this could be as many as 750 caolories depending on what you drink.  Even on the low end it’s at least 200-400 calories that you are not consuming.

  • You will not eat as much.

    Drinking water will help you remain fuller longer.  Also, you will be less inclined to munch.  Drinking limits your inhibition.  If you see food, you are going to eat it.  Drinking water will help not only because you feel more full but also because you are controlling your level of intoxication.

I could go on and on about the benefits of drinking water in between drinks.  It’s just a smart idea.  You know it and I know.  It’s time we put this into practice.


These are just a few of the ideas that Adrianne shared with me today.  This took up maybe 10 minutes of our hour long meeting.  There are so many life changing ideas that a dietitian can give you.  Let me know if you need help finding a dietitian in your area, I can help.  Here is a link to BodyMetrix, where Adrianne works.  I’m not getting a referral credit or anything for promoting them.  They are just good people and they can help you.


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