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Nurse’s summer meal eating survival guide

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It’s that time of the year. I think the summer and the family get togethers and the barbecues that go along with it are my favorite time of the year. Maybe I’m being delusional but this is also the MOST DIFFICULT time of the year to stay smart and maintain that healthy lifestyle – more specifically figuring out a way not to binge on everything within sight or at an arms length reach!

We work so hard staying disciplined with our eating habits and activity that we ‘blow it’ when it comes to group events! Now, let me get one things straight – I’m not saying you can’t enjoy the wonderful summertime treats. What I’m saying is being careful not to fall victim to over-indulging. It only takes one party, one holiday, one get-together than can ruin 6 months to a year of hard work. It’s a sad hard fact that all the work you do can go down the tubes after one ‘episode’ of food weakness.

So, with that being said here are is my summer festivity meal eating survival guide:

1. You are human

Which means you’re going to have a weak moment. It’s up to you to decide if the weak moment will define you or motivate you. It’s ok to indulge – but know your limits and know the consequences! When faced with all that indulgence remember how hard you’ve worked, and how hard you’re working towards your goal. What is more important to you?

2. Eat a small meal before you arrive

Nothing large. Maybe a small salad? Or an apple? Some fruit? The idea here is to have your stomach partially full before you are faced with the temptation to over-eat. This way you and your stomach can only take so much!

3. If your going to pick – pick something healthy

We all do it. We go back for seconds, thirds, fourths, etc. You eat it because it’s there, not because your hungry. If you’re going to graze, graze on the fruit, the vegetables, the salad, etc. Stay away from all the white floured carbohydrates (bread, buns, etc), and by all means stay far, far away from the desserts!

4. Still hungry? Drink a full glass of water first.

Yes, the whole glass. I don’t care if it’s ice water or plain ole’ luke-warm tap water. Drink a full glass of water first. If you are still hungry after that glass -then by all means dig in. But once again, don’t over do it.

5. A mouth bigger than your stomach

This used to be such a big problem for me. I’d fill my plate up and then stack food on top of each other. Both hands would be balancing mounds of food for me to eat. You’d think you only get on trip! Take only what you will eat. Don’t fill your plate beyond your means.

6. Find the smallest plate possible

This is yet another ‘jedi-mind-trick’. The smaller the plate, the less food you will take. Also the smaller plate will give you the illusion you’ve over-filled your plate. Taking a larger plate just means you will take more food to fill the plate!

7. Take a napkin instead

Still picking? Still going back for more? Instead of taking a plate, take a napkin, and only a napkin. Fill the napkin with what you want, and nothing more. Do not take the whole bag of chips with you. Any type of ‘finger-foods’. Only fill the napkin, nothing more.

8. If all else fails recruit help

Have a partner or a buddy keep you in check. Someone who will keep an eye on ya if you start over-doing it. A simple nudge or maybe a slap on the back of your head will snap you back into reality and out of your food-coma.

In the end, you get to choose what happens. No one else is forcing you to eat or not eat. It’s your responsibility for what happens. It’s your choice to eat those foods, or not. It’s your choice to over-indulge or to have the courage to only take enough to fill you. It’s your choice to say no. It’s your choice.

Best of luck and happy summer!

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