South Beach Diet Healthy Party Guidelines

You’ve planned, sent invites, shopped, and cooked. When party day finally arrives, all you’ll need to do is take care of last-minute preparations, and then set the festivities in motion. The following suggestions can help you stay energized and worry free before, during, and after your get-together.

  1. Don’t change your normal eating routine. On the days leading up to the party, and especially on the day of, stick to whatever Phase of the South Beach Diet you’re on and make sure to eat breakfast, lunch, and a protein- and fiber-rich midmorning and midafternoon snack. This way, you won’t be hungry while you’re preparing the party food; and when the party starts, you won’t be tempted to overeat.

  2. Keep yourself hydrated. While you don’t need to keep an exact count of how many glasses of water you consume on a daily basis, keeping well hydrated will help you stay energized and combat fatigue — two things you want to avoid on party day. Drink water when you feel thirsty, and remember that fruits, vegetables, and low-fat milk will also help contribute to your fluid intake. Drinking a glass of water before and with your meal will also help fill you up.

  3. Schedule time to exercise. Exercising decreases stress and increases energy. When you exercise, your body releases feel-good hormones called endorphins, which help to relieve stress and keep your blood-sugar levels stable so that you don’t get cravings. If it’s too hard to work in an aerobics, Pilates, or yoga class on party day, take a brisk walk or go for a bike ride.

  4. Enlist friends to help. We all have friends or family members who offer to lend a helping hand with parties and meals. Saying yes to a little assistance is a great way to make setup and cooking go quicker and easier. Have your volunteers arrive early to prep a dish or two, arrange flowers, or get the tables set. And when the party’s over, commandeer some help for the cleanup too.

  5. Enjoy some wine. If you like wine, have a glass once you’ve eaten an hors d’oeuvre or two or with the meal. Having food in your system when you drink slows the absorption of alcohol into your bloodstream and helps keep your blood-sugar levels steady. A glass of red or white wine daily for women or two for men of is fine. Avoid beer (except for the occasional light beer), high-sugar types of alcohol, such as dessert and ice wines, and cocktails made with sugary mixers.

  6. Delight in dessert. Special occasions and dessert go hand in hand. If you like sweets, cut yourself a small piece of cake or enjoy a cookie or two and savor the dessert slowly. Or try our South Beach Diet “Three-Bite Rule”: Take three bites and then put the dessert aside for a few minutes; most likely you won’t come back to it. You’ll discover that just a few tastes of a great dessert can be very satisfying.

  7. Love the leftovers. The healthy leftovers you have can be a blessing after all that cooking! Wrap extras in small portions to freeze and eat later in the week or, if you like, wrap and send some of the food home with your guests as a reminder of a great occasion.

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