Staying on Track

Social events can be challenging when you are trying to maintain a healthy diet and control your weight. Family gatherings, work functions and parties often include tempting foods and unique social cues for eating and drinking. The list below contains guidelines you can follow to help you stay on track when you feel the food-related pressures that can occur in social settings.

Plan Ahead

  • Choose an alternative. Plan fun activities that do not include eating and drinking.
  • Quality not quantity. When you decide to eat a special high-fat or high-caloric food, choose something especially good, but in very small amount.
  • Assert yourself with hosts. Be clear and direct with your hosts, letting them know what you will and will not eat.
  • Alcohol awareness. Alcoholic drinks can increase your appetite and reduce your power of self control. If you choose to drink, be mindful of the calories involved.
  • Watch for stress, fatigue or feeling rushed. Feeling stressed, tense, fatigued, or rushed can make you want to eat. Try to catch these situations early and prepare yourself in advance with ways to cope — such as exercise — that do not include food.
  • Set reasonable expectations for holidays and special occasions. It may be unrealistic to expect weight loss during holidays and special occasions. However, weight gain can be prevented if you keep careful track of your eating and maintain your exercise regimen.
  • Incorporate exercise into your regular activities. Park your car further away and walk. Explore various seasonal activities and create annual traditions for yourself that involve physical activity.

Prepare Yourself

Eat something before you arrive at an event so you won't feel hungry when you get there. Budget your caloric intake in advance and eat special foods in small portions. Bring a delicious low-calorie dish to share with others.

Steer Clear of Problem Cues

Do not linger near the food table. Make your choices, put the items on a small plate and go eat them somewhere else. Occupy your hands with a low-calorie drink (water, tea, or coffee) and watch your alcohol intake. If you are the host, clear the uneaten food from the table as soon as you can.

Change Problem Cues

By discussing your goals with your family, friends, guests or host, you can create a setting with fewer problem cues. Ask others to praise and support your efforts and be as helpful as you can in helping them meet your needs.

Choose a Healthy Response to Problem Cues

Learn to use a polite but firm "No, thank you." Suggest an alternative with which your host can provide you, such as, "No thanks, but I'd love a glass of ice water."

Add Helpful Cues

Provide healthy foods for your guests and bring a healthy contribution to the parties you attend. Explore new low-calorie recipes and use low-fat ingredients in recipes you already enjoy. Ask for help from those you are with by suggesting you split a desert or go for a walk together. Plan activities that include exercise and healthy alternatives to eating and drinking. 

To register for a free informational seminar or to make an appointment for a consultation with a Temple bariatric surgeon, click here or call 1-800-Temple-Med (1-800-836-7536).

This page is intended to provide tips and guidelines only, and should not be taken as a definitive medical or dietary plan for patients of bariatric surgery. For detailed information about diet and nutrition specific to your needs, consult your doctor or dietitian.