With summer wedding season in full swing, opportunities to indulge in rich food and sugary drinks seem to come from every direction. While it’s easy to give in to temptation during a big event, consider these sanity-saving suggestions to help guide you through the evening. Everybody say Mazel Tov!
- Always Be Prepared. Yes, this is the Scout’s motto. It’s also an essential rule of following a healthy diet. It takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain it needs food and by the time that message arrives you’ll probably eat anything that isn’t nailed to your seating assignment. Eat a fiber-filled snack on your way out the door, like an apple or some raw nuts, so that you’re not starving when you arrive at the event.
- Finger Foods Are NOT Your Friends. Think a small bite can’t hurt? You’re probably right. But 8 to 10 of those tiny hot dogs and fried puff pastries can add up to be the equivalent of a regular-sized one. You’ll end up eating an entire meal before you’ve even sat down for dinner. Keep track of how many hors d’oeurves you’ve eaten. More than four might as well be their own course on the menu.
- Cut Down on Dinner. Did you order the salmon or the steak? Either way, by now we all know that party-sized portions can get a little out of control. Often times, our eyes really are bigger than our stomachs, leading us to eat just about anything and everything that’s put on our plates. Try cutting your dish in half before starting your meal. When you’re done, ask yourself if you still want more food. You may find that you’re not as hungry as you initially thought you were.
- Stay Hydrated. As a rule of thumb, drinking 8 ounces of water for every 4 ounces of alcohol can help to keep hangovers at bay. Drinking water throughout the evening will also help your body to recognize that it’s full. So raise your glass to the happy couple and chase it with some H2O.
- Follow Up with Fitness. So, you ignored all of the advice above and woke up feeling beaten down and bloated? Do sweat it! Well, sweat it out, that is. While it may not seem like the most enticing option, exercising after a big night out will send endorphins to your brain, giving you an instant energy boost. So whether you’re ready for a spin class or just a brisk walk, get out of the house and into your sneakers. Follow up your workout with a light breakfast as you peruse the Facebook pictures posted from the night before!
Mallory Stuchin, a native Manhattanite, is a freelance food and health writer. She studied Ashtanga Yoga in Mysore, India and has taught classes at PURE Yoga and New York University. She is also a Natural Foods Chef and has worked for Mario Batali. Her writing has previously been featured in The New York Observer, Glamour and Maxim, as well as other publications in New York and Los Angeles.