16 Strategies to Stay Lean for Social Events

1
Apply Food Snob Strategy

Friends eating food at social gathering
Jupiterimages/Getty Images

Social events and parties are part of life. Living a healthy lifestyle and maintaining a lean body doesn't mean social functions are off limits. No need to feel stressed about forbidden foods not on your eat clean menu, or fearing a sudden fat layer appearing over your hard earned muscle. Remove the worry of losing toned thighs or abs of steel attending parties by simply applying a food snob strategy where you're in control. This will allow you to enjoy the functions, maintain your lean look and be the envy of those wondering how you did it.  This is the time to break out your inner food snob!

2
Eat Before You Go

Eat Healthy Before You Go
Eat a Healthy Meal Before the Party. PoppyB/Getty Images

Have your healthy meals on hand and stick to your normal eating routine before heading out to the event. If you're hosting the party, you will have more control of what is prepared. In either case, eating before you go takes away the temptation to over indulge. This strategy creates the eat light food snob keeping you on track and maintaining those six-pack abs. Eating something like sliced apples with peanut butter before the party stimulates your eat light food snob to guide dinner selections later. If you're already satisfied, filling your plate with a bunch of junk will not be as appealing.

3
Wear Fitted Clothes

Wear Fitted Clothes
Fitted Clothes Keep You From Over Indulging. laflor E+/Getty Images

We work hard to look good and well-defined physiques rock fitted clothes. Social functions are no time to bust out the draw string pants. Wear your fitted slacks, jeans, or dresses and keep your gut sucked in, chest held high and own the room but not the food. This creates the looking good food snob who will avoid foods revealing the slightest hint of bloat.  Also, who wants to sit around feeling uncomfortable. Tight clothes will favor the lighter side of party foods like vegetables, lean meats, salads, and plenty of water.

4
Bring a Healthy Dish

Roasted Vegetables
The Smart Food Snob Brings a Healthy Dish to the Party. seven Moment/Getty Images

You're asked to bring a dish to a social function and the healthy food snob will always volunteer to bring the vegetables or salad. Taking a healthier selection keeps nutrient dense foods at home. You will be able to leave the party without returning to temptation lurking in your kitchen. Knowing the ingredients in your dish will also put you more at ease to enjoy something worth the calories. You may just be the talk of the party setting the example of how you eat healthy to maintain a lean body!

5
Food Spy

Food Spy
Spy Foods to Eat Upon Arrival. Louise Lister/Getty Images

Get into food snob spy mode right away upon arrival. Give yourself time to case the place for any foods you don’t want to eat and possible favorites. Keep a glass of water in your dominate hand to prevent grabbing from the “off limits” snack table and socialize instead for at least 20 minutes. This will allow plenty of time to review your food choices before eating anything. Becoming the best food snob spy gets easier with each social function and will help maintain that hard-earned shred.

6
Skip the Appetizers

Skip the Appetizers
Skip the Appetizers and Wait for the Main Event. Stephan Zabel E+/Getty Images

Appetizers are meant to be appetizing and will suck you in and load you up with calories before dinner is even on the table. The mindful eater food snob will recognize this fact and go into damage control mode skipping the temptation to snack and saving calories for the main event. If any finger food is to be enjoyed, it should be limited to fruits, raw vegetables or a handful of nuts. Relax, dinner is still coming!

7
Be Picky

Picky Eater
Be Picky and Stick to Your Food Selection. JGI/Jamie Grill/Getty Images

There is nothing worse than wasting calories on food you don’t like and unfortunately, there is no such thing as calorie refunds. The picky food snob will be very selective and choose a couple of party favorites in sensible portion and careful not to overindulge on any one thing. Being sucked into food peer pressure during functions can also be a problem and feel overwhelming. This food snob sticks to healthy food selections regardless of what their friends are doing. The take away here is to make your calories count.

8
Keep It Lean

Lean Protein
Lean Protein is Best. LOVE_LIFE/Getty Images

The Fred Flintstone size leg of lamb may look amazing but the lean food snob knows which protein is best. Always choose white meat over brown at social functions. White meat is lean, contains minimal saturated fat and studies show helps with muscle growth and recovery. Lean meat is a great source of protein, an essential macronutrient for optimal health and fitness.

9
Be Food Smart

Eat Turkey Skin Sparingly
The Smart Food Snob Eats a Small Portion of Turkey Skin. James Pauls E+/Getty Images

During social events like Thanksgiving, the roasted bird comes into question. Did you know roasted turkey skin is tasty and eating it sparingly will not break the lean physique bank? Lilian Cheung, editorial director of "The Nutrition Source" from Harvard's School of Public Health indicates more good fat than saturated fat is in the skin and enjoying a little is actually beneficial to the body. The smart food snob will have a small portion of roasted skin and not go back for seconds.

10
Be Carb Smart

Carb Smart
Carb Smart Snobs Go for the Veggies. heatherwalker/Getty Images

Social events typically serve unhealthy carbohydrates with enough calories to fuel an entire football team. The carb smart food snob will not overload their plate with white bread, mounds of mashed potatoes and cake. They will also invest their food spy strategy to help make the best choices seeking out fibrous carbs and lean proteins. They will avoid high sugar and creamy items like the plague. This food snob will really be on their game here. They will either have a few small spoons of coveted favorites, enjoy only one serving in a sensible portion, or skip unhealthy carbs all together and opt for the fresh green beans.

11
Drink Water

The Detox Food Snob
The Detox Food Snob Drinks Plenty of Water During the Holiday Event. Daniel Allan Cultura/Getty Images

With all the inflammation causing food and alcohol at social events, the detox food snob will be the one carrying around a water bottle or glass to keep their body hydrated. Water not only helps to maintain fluid balance in the body but also helps boost metabolism and provides a feeling of fullness preventing overindulgence.

12
Limit Alcohol

Limit Alcohol
Limit Alcohol Consumption at Parties. CaiaImage/Getty Images

Alcohol is big at social events. Typically no one pays attention to the forever wine and spirit pours going on throughout the evening. This is usually the time table dancing starts happening or at least running into them. The sober food snob knows alcohol is a huge fitness setback and will limit their intake to no more than two drinks. Alternating a glass of water between drinks is also a great idea to keep the body flushed out and the mind thinking clearly. It's recommended to drink 8 ounces of water for every 3 ounces of alcohol.

13
Watch Fat Intake

The Low-Fat Food Snob
The Low Fat Food Snob Avoids Casseroles Like the Plague. Thomas Firak Photography Photolibrary/Getty Images

Casseroles and tight bodies just don’t mix, and the low-fat food snob avoids them like the plague. Casseroles are usually filled with fat laden cream mixtures, mayonnaise, and bricks of butter. Did I mention layers of cheese, tons of breadcrumbs, and cans of processed soups are also main ingredients? These are typically the forbidden foods that sit in your gut like a rock and cause seriously uncomfortable bloat. The low-fat food snob is perfectly happy eating fresh veggies and roasted Brussel sprouts instead.

14
Be Antioxidant Smart

Antioxidants
Eat Antioxidant Rich Foods Like Blueberries. annamoskvina/Getty Images

Fresh berries are full of antioxidants that help reduce inflammation in the blood stream. The antioxidant food snob is well aware of their abundant health benefits and will not hesitate to enjoy fruits like fresh blueberries. Now, if the berries are mixed with creams and sauces, the antioxidant smart food snob would most likely take a pass.

15
Be a Sampler

The Sampler
The Sampler Snob Works Food Like a Pro. Dorota i Bogdan Bialy/Getty Images

Allowing a full cheat meal during social events is also an option and the sample food snob knows how to work it like a pro. This will take extreme control and attention to portions similar to being at Costco having sample time lunch. Enjoying a bite of this and a bite of that is food snob behavior at its finest and allows tasting most party favorites being served. You will come away feeling satisfied and not dealing with the guilt that comes with overindulging.

16
Say No

The Just Say No Food Snob
The Just Say No Food Snob Avoids the Extras. Matthias Häberlein / EyeEm EyeEm/Gettty Images

Social events come with forbidden food accessories like gravies, fake cheese, spreads, and whipped toppings. The just say no food snob will spot those right away and will not lift their dish for a serving. A small portion of quality cheese may be about it and all other extras are seen as wasted calories. The takeaway: Saying no to extras means saying yes to lean abs and legs.

17
Be Dessert Smart

Dessert Smart
Have Your Cake and Eat it Too. Lisa Romerein/Getty Images

Desserts are the prize of all social functions. The smart dessert snob will apply strategic methods to have their cake and eat it too. Some choose to enjoy a small sliver of their favorite while others have sneaky ways of having it all. Digging the fruit out of a pie, with class, of course, is a clever food snob maneuver ditching the lard filled crust. Another favored food snob trick is taking a couple of bites of no more than two desserts and turning up your nose at the rest. Whatever method used, seconds is never an option. The takeaway: Be dessert smart, keep the lard on the pie and not on your thighs.

Sources:

Harvard Health Publications, Turkey: a healthy base of holiday meals, Patrick J. Skerrett, 11/19/12

Harvard School of Public Health, The Nutrition Source, Lilian Cheung, Editorial Director

United States Department of Agriculture, Nutrition Facts for Chicken and Turkey, 9/11

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