5 tips to stay on track while celebrating

Spirits are high, food and drink are plentiful - now all you need is a game plan to keep moving towards your goals.

If you love to socialise - and let's face it, most of us are chomping at the bit to enjoy social events without restrictions - you may know that some of the most celebratory foods, from avocado-based dips to birthday cake, can seriously make a dent in your SmartPoints® Budget - and that’s not even counting the booze.

But staying on track doesn’t mean missing out by passing up the cheese plate or refusing a slice of strawberry cheesecake that looks amazing. With careful planning and a little bit of discipline, you can keep your SmartPoints in check without sacrificing any celebrations. Here's how: 

1. Stick to your usual routine

Some people choose to skip a meal or eat less before a night out or social event. However, this can often backfire - if you go hungry during the day, you may actually end up eating more than usual when you go out.

Exercising on the day is a great idea, too: you'll burn extra calories, feel good, and remind yourself that you're making positive choices. If working out is already part of your daily routine, great! If not, check out the obé workouts at your fingertips in the WW app.

2. Fill your (smaller) plate

One of the simplest ways to monitor how much you’re eating is to serve your food on a smaller-than-usual plate.

“Fill half your plate with vegetables, quarter with a lean protein such as chicken or fish (not fried, breaded or soaked in oil or a marinade) and quarter with ‘your choice’ as long as it stays within your SmartPoints Budget for the day. If you go back for seconds, choose mostly vegetables and a serving of protein,” says Jaimie Sherry, MS, RD, CDE, CDN, a nutritionist at New York Presbyterian Hospital and Weill Cornell Medical College.

3. Be mindful about mindless grazing

According to WW nutritionist and recipes editor Leslie Fink, MS, RD, “Anything that comes in a dip or chip basket is dangerous territory,” since it's very easy to dip and munch without thinking about how much food you're eating overall.

Don't try to keep track of how many times you reach for yet another guacamole covered tortilla chip or handful of nuts. Instead, take single items on a plate and look for more friendlier alternatives like sushi, grilled chicken skewers, or stuffed mushrooms. 

4. Beware of the bar

Another red flag is the open bar, offering a bounty of sugary cocktails and creamy frozen drinks, not to mention hearty beers. If you fancy a few rounds, stick to bottled, light beer or a glass of red or white wine or sangria.

Fink suggests: “Think of ways to add flavour but not calories to your favourite drinks, like an extra splash of hot sauce in a bloody Mary, a twist of lemon or lime in your vodka, or Diet Coke with your rum.” 

5. Get your groove on

Keeping your mouth and hands occupied with things that don’t involve food or alcohol may help you consume less of both. That might mean getting out on the dance floor to show off your best moves (bonus: you'll earn FitPoints® too!) or chatting with someone you haven't seen in ages. You'll have fun AND stay on track.