4 Ways to Stay on Your Diet Without Giving Up Your Social Life

This article originally posted on The Huffington Post. Written by Angelo Poli

Dinner parties, dances, and date nights can add up to disaster if you’re not ultra savvy. One of the most infamous gripes I hear is feeling like you have to choose between sticking to your diet and causing a scene at parties.

You’ve worked hard to get yourself in shape! Don’t assume amnesty to the oldest of influences — peer pressure — just because you’re out of high school. The desire to remain inconspicuous in a group is one of the most common reasons people break their diet. If you’re often social and want to keep your Vogue (or GQ) physique, you’ll need to know the tricks. Here are four real world tips I give to my high profile clientele:

1) Eat First, Eat Twice: This is your most important strategy. Eat your planned lunch, dinner, whatever, BEFORE you arrive. The biggest miscalculation dieters make is eating less before arriving in an effort to offset extra calories at the event. To quote a favorite actress of mine, “Big mistake... huge.”

While most events will have at least “something” that’s on your diet, no one wants to walk around with half the party’s lettuce wraps on their plate... awkward.

Eating less before arriving means you’ll be showing up with low blood sugar and a raging appetite. You’ll eat far fewer calories if you eat a healthy meal before arriving — then eat a second light meal selected without hunger at the party.

2) Bring Alcohol: Yup, you read right. I want you to bring alcohol. If you’re a savvy dieter you’ve already figured out that hard alcohol mixed with calorie-free beverages is a dieter’s best trick. Trouble is... you never know what drinks will be served. So let’s eliminate the variable. Besides, who wants to show up for a dinner party empty handed? If it’s a more intimate party, bring your host a martini shaker and olives for a classy gift.

3) Sample, Don’t Pile: For buffet-style spreads place a small portion of several things on your plate instead of holding up the line while you figure out your best options. Being selective after you leave the buffet line will go unnoticed.

4) Ask for a To-Go Container With Your Entrée: For restaurant meals, ask your waiter to bring you a to-go box with your entrée. When it arrives you can scoop half into the container and avoid appearing as though you barely touched your meal.

Social dieters rely on real life strategies so they can keep up appearances — you can beat the system and stick to your diet, you just need to know the tricks.