Staying on Track

Parties, family gatherings, work conferences and other social activities upset our routine, challenging us with unique food and social cues. Here are some helpful guidelines on how to stay on track now and in the future.

Prepare ahead of time:

  • Plan enjoyable activities other than eating and drinking.
  • When you decide to eat a special high-fat/caloric food, choose quality not quantity.
  • Plan ahead and be assertive with hosts. Let hosts know, in a clear and direct way, what you are planning to eat and not eat.
  • Decide what you want to do about alcohol. Alcohol increases appetite and lowers self-control. And if you drink, be aware of the calories involved.
  • Beware of fatigue, rushing and tension. Look for early warning signs. Plan nonfood ways to cope including exercise.
  • Have reasonable expectations for a holiday. Realize you may not lose weight during the holiday. But by keeping track of eating and activity, weight gain can be prevented.
  • Build in activity. Park further away and walk. Look for seasonal activities that can become traditions.

Plan Ahead

Eat something before an event. Plan your meal in advance. Budget your caloric intake ahead of time. Plan to eat special foods in small portions and leave the rest. Bring a tasty, low-calorie dish to share.

Stay Away from Problem Cues

Stand as far away as you can from the table with food. Place your chosen items on a smaller plate and consume them elsewhere. Keep your hands busy with water, coffee, tea or diet soda. Watch your alcohol intake. Clear the table of food as soon as possible.

Change Problem Cues

Discuss your goals with family, friends, guests, host or hostess. Ask others to praise your efforts.

Respond to Problem Cues in a Healthy Way

Practice a polite but firm, "No, thank you." Suggest something else your host can do to help you such as, "No thanks, but I’d love a glass of ice water."

Add Helpful Cues

Serve healthy foods or bring some to share. Use low-fat products to lower calories in favorite recipes. Try some new, low-calorie recipes. Ask a friend or family member for support (to split dessert or take a walk with you). Plan things to do that are active and do not involve food.

To register for a free informational seminar or to make an appointment for a consultation with a bariatric surgeon at Jeanes, click here or call 215-728-CARE (2273).

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