With summer just around the corner, a number of special celebrations are probably about to populate your social calendar. Whether it’s a graduation shindig, bridal shower, engagement party, birthday soirée, or wedding, there’s no reason you can’t celebrate life’s milestones with your friends and family and stick to your weight-loss goals. Thanks to the abundance of vegetables and fruits during this season, there are likely to be plenty of South Beach Diet–friendly offerings at these fêtes. And while there are sure to be fried foods and other unhealthy dishes served, if you’re equipped with strategies to overcome temptations you’ll be able to stick to your healthy eating plan. To help you stay on track with your diet, follow our tips for surviving the summer party season.
Weeks Before the Party…
Set realistic weight-loss goals. Stressing
over fitting into that summer dress or suit by party day? Don’t let the
countdown cause you to resort to extreme weight-loss measures. Remember, slow and
steady always wins the race, so don’t go to drastic lengths to lose weight
faster — you’ll only gain it right back. Instead, set a number on the
scale you can feasibly reach with your given timeframe and focus on other
big-picture goals, like preparing healthy, homemade meals, sticking to an
exercise routine, and making sure you’re getting enough quality sleep at night.
By turning your attention away from the number on the scale, you’ll improve
other aspects of your lifestyle that will help you lose weight faster and keep it off. And you’ll look and feel
great for that special event, for sure.
going to an exercise boot camp and commit to a workout routine. Whether you’re
stuck in a weight-loss plateau or want to burn more fat and calories, exercise
is the sure-fire way to make the pounds melt away. Boot camps are an excellent
way to get into shape because there are various camps for all levels of fitness
so beginners and seasoned athletes can start at an intensity that is
comfortable for them. Be sure to talk with your doctor before you make any
sudden changes in your level of activity, especially if you’ve been inactive or
are age 50 or older. Many people who have joined group exercise boot camps find
that they are better able to stick to an exercise routine and stay motivated
after they stop going. Can’t find a boot camp near you? Rally a group of your
friends and family members together and schedule a morning exercise session at
your local park. Working out with a group of people with similar goals will
incentivize you to keep up with your exercise routine and stay motivated. But
if you decide to fly solo, be sure to keep your workouts interesting,
alternating between interval exercise and core-strengthening. Instead of the
treadmill or elliptical, consider using a rowing machine, for doing intervals.
- Put up visual cues to stay motivated. Hard to ignore that photo of the polka dot bikini and that pair of yellow swim shorts you’ve magnet-ed to the fridge? Let them be a reminder to stay focused on your goal of wearing that coveted swimwear, or that cocktail dress, or that smaller-size suit on party day. Visual cues will help you stick to your healthy eating plan and exercise routine. If the clothes idea doesn’t work for you, a number can also serve as a visual reminder of the pounds you would like to lose. Put up photos and magnets, carry key chains, or wear necklaces and stickers on your exercise shirts or sneakers with that magic number. They’ll help keep you focused and put you in a positive mindset each time you see your goal.
On Party Day…
a healthy snack beforehand. Before you party it up, be sure to enjoy
a nutritious snack, like a handful of dry-roasted nuts and an apple or some
hummus and veggie sticks or a South Beach Diet Snack Bar. By having a
satisfying protein- and fiber-rich snack before you head to a social event, you
avoid overeating and giving into temptations once you get there. If you’ve
already had your mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack on party day, better to
have a small third snack than to overdo it once you get to the event.
a healthy party platter to the celebration. If you’re
attending a party and are asked to bring a dish, why not take along some
delicious South Beach Diet–friendly fare for everyone to enjoy? Even if you’re
not assigned a dish, bring something that you can enjoy just in case the foods
at the party are not on your meal plan. Some dishes that are great for
entertaining are Grilled
Shrimp on Rosemary Skewers and Roasted
Zucchini Bites, or this Summertime
Sweet Potato Salad.
easy on the alcohol. At weddings and other parties that feature
open bars and servers walking around with trays of cocktails, it’s easy to
overdo it with alcohol. Our usual recommendation is one alcoholic beverage a
day for women and up to two for men, but you can splurge a little on a special
occasion. Red or white wine is your best bet, but you can also enjoy light beer
or a 1 1/2 ounce serving of spirits like gin, vodka, rum, Scotch, tequila, or
bourbon in a mixed drink (avoid sugary sodas and fruit juice as mixers). If a
toast is called for, do enjoy a small glass of champagne. Cheers!
- Delight in dessert. Dessert on the South Beach Diet? Of course. Dessert tables, and in some cases, buffets at parties can present many temptations, but you can have your dessert and eat it, too, if you stick with our "Three-Bite Rule": Take three bites and then put your fork down for a few minutes; you'll likely find that you are satisfied with just that amount of sweetness. If you’re still tempted, simply leave the dessert and walk away.