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You Can Have Your Party Feast and Eat it Too

Josie Maurer is a freelance writer and founder of YumYucky.com. She lost over 40 pounds after the birth of her fourth child through sensible eating and exercise, yet she still maintains her love for large slices of cake.

Watch out for that party food! Are you hungry for dining out? When it’s time to enjoy a happy food extravaganza, it can be hard to stay on course with healthy eating. Restaurants do not typically post nutrition numbers on their menus, and dinner parties are a haven for delicious hors d’oeuvres as the thirsty cocktails flow. But how can you enjoy the eating bliss from an occasional night out without that bloated, guilty feeling as try to burn the fat?

Healthy eating plays a major role in your weight loss results. Moderation is important, too, but you should also give yourself some wiggle room to delight in all kinds of delicacies, especially given the opportunity to enjoy a special eating occasion. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shares this same philosophy. In a January 2009 article published on the CDC website, they state: “Healthy eating is all about balance. You can enjoy your favorite foods even if they are high in calories, fat or added sugars. The key is eating them only once in a while and balance them out with healthier foods and more physical activity.”

You can savor the tasty moments of a food event and still achieve your fitness goals. Eating like a bird is not required. So how do you do it?

Skip the Food Coma: If you tend to gravitate towards stomach-heavy foods, try something light that’s equally delicious. Choose a protein dish, like chicken or fish, instead of food-coma pastas. Go for a side of veggies instead of fries, or skip the appetizer altogether if you’re way too fond of the bread basket.

Listen to Your Stomach: The practice of “intuitive eating” involves taking cues from your body to determine how you feel as you eat, and then responding to those cues to prevent overeating. When you are in tune to listen to your body (and this takes practice), you will not miss the signals it provides to alert you that overeating is approaching. Sites likes Wikipedia and Calorie Count are great starting points to explore the concept of intuitive eating.

Feast and Splurge: What fun! The option to go all out and eat to your heart’s content cannot be left out as a viable option. The occasional night out to enjoy delicious food is not a deal breaker that will squash your fitness goals to a pulp, so don’t let guilt interfere with temporary splurges. Keep things in perspective and give yourself some credit. For those occasional days when you eat without restriction, there are many more days you practice food-munching moderation. An occasional night of eating pleasure does not have the power to erase your commitment to fitness.

Saddle up your stomach and prepare it for action! You’ve got some eating to do. Whichever route you choose to indulge in the extravaganza, those villains guilt, deprivation and bird food should not be on the menu.

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September 11th, 2010

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