Maintaining Good Habits When Eating With Friends
Once we decide to take charge, dinners with friends can take us out of our comfort zone, as we sometimes feel like we are losing control. We must not perceive these special occasions as barriers to our success! Here are some tips that will help you maintain your commitment to achieve your objectives:
As a host
When you are hosting, you have full control over the quality of the dishes you serve. Let your guest determine the quantity they need.
- Appetizers: Make fruits and vegetables the star of your first course. They contain few calories and occupy a lot of space in the stomach because of their high water and fibre content.
- Main course: Observe the rules of the healthy plate by serving a lean meat (1/4 of the plate) with a variety of coloured vegetables (1/2 of the plate) and a choice of starch (1/4 of the plate) that will please everybody’s taste.
- Dessert: Treat yourself with a small portion of a dessert that you only eat occasionally. You could also serve a healthy dessert by consulting one of these two articles: “Lower the Fat Content of Your Recipes” and “For Sugar Bugs.”
As a guest
In this case, you have no control over the quality of the foods you will be served, but you still have a word to say about the quantity. To prepare for that evening, balance your day by eating two light meals (1 meat or substitute + vegetable and/or fruit) and a proper snack before heading out to your dinner (a yogurt + one fruit, or raw vegetables + cheese or some nuts), just so you don’t feel ravenous once you get there and wolf down everything that’s offered to you.
When the meal is served, ask if you can make your own portions, or ask if you could have a little bit of everything to try it all.
Finally, don’t be shy to say NO THANK YOU. It’s normal to stop eating when you are not hungry anymore.
Always remember that pleasure is not only found in the foods you eat, but also in talking with your friends!
Marie-Eve Nadeau, P.Dt.