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How to Avoid the Party Binge: 4 Strategies

Have you ever experienced a party binge? It’s when you go to a party and all of a sudden, despite your best intentions, you’ve downed a bottle’s worth of champagne and a whole day’s worth of food within the space of three hours?

Do you freak out at the thought of attending a party because of all the food and alcohol and what hungry animal that might awaken inside of you?

Le me tell you, you’re not alone. A simple plate of salt & vinegar chips, or a platter cheese, dips and biccy’s, a tray of cup-cakes, for some people, is more frightening than spiders, snakes, heights and potential mugging, combined!

Here at Rumbles, we’re celebrating our 3rd birthday! The whole world is also in the lead up to the Christmas and New Year period. What always accompanies parties, Christmas, New Years and holidays? FOOD (and alcohol), and usually lots of it!

There are Christmas parties for work, family, friends, and friends of friends. Then you have New Years Eve parties, followed by holidays, and the list goes on. It is not uncommon to add up to an extra 3kg of weight over the Christmas and New Year period.

Over-eating and drinking associated with endless weekends of social engagements, just like binge drinking, has health consequences, some of these include high blood pressure, increased cholesterol, and an increased risk of Type II diabetes.

Not only does over-eating impact biological changes negatively, it also results in more food cravings and the body not being able to send the correct signals for fullness or satiety to the brain. Overeating also leads to an overload on your body system, causing stress on your stomach, intestines and all of your major organs. Continued over-eating has the potential to form poor habits associated with food.

To help maintain a healthy relationship with food this festive and party season, lets look at the top four ways to fight the party binge, and come out healthier on the other side.

1.) Plan

know what function you will be attending, whether it be an afternoon party, a cocktail party, a sit-down dinner etc. and plan accordingly. Will there be food available? Will alcohol be supplied? If you know what sort of function you are attending, you have the ability to set goals and boundaries with yourself.

2.) Eat a nutritious meal prior

Eating a nutritious meal consisting of healthy fats, a moderate amount of protein and fibrous carbohydrates (think any green vegetables) will set up success NOT failure. You will feel satisfied, and not tempted to eat the deep fried onion rings at the cocktail party.

3.) Chose your function wisely

There are functions Friday, Saturday and Sunday every weekend leading up to Christmas. Do you a) eat and drink like you have never seen food before at every function? or do you b) pick one function where you will let your hair down, have a good time and not worry about it?

If you picked b) you are onto a winner. Have that freedom to enjoy ONE function, let your hair down, and get back to your normal routine the next day. If you enjoy EVERY function, you will feel terrible by Monday, possibly resulting in continued poor food choices for the remaining week.

4.) Dessert or alcohol?

Make a choice; choose your health over the chocolate fondant plus five glasses of champagne or beer. If you love an amazing dessert choose to have dessert and skip the alcohol, then you can mix it up at the following party the next weekend. Excessive amounts of carbohydrates found in both desserts and alcohol cause a dramatic spike in insulin. Insulin is used to shuttle the glucose (single unit of carbohydrate) off to the required body systems, however, if there is too much glucose flooding the blood stream, it is then shuttled off to the liver, there it is converted to fat, and sent to storage in the fat cells.

Remember, parties are about enjoying life and enjoying your friends and family. Ask yourself, why are you even at the party? It’s not to feel food shame or feel like a food criminal, it’s about love and relationships. Remember why you’re there in the first place. If you make love your top priority at the party, then the food struggles you have, will loose their power.

Beck Nasr

Nutritionist

[email protected]