Let the Eating Begin

Prepare yourself for holiday feasts (and other eating events) with a few Party Preparedness Strategies from author Susan Burke March.

Susan Burke March provides strategies in her book Making Weight Control Second Nature.

Susan Burke March's Making Weight Control Second Nature.

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For any holiday feast or other eating events, such as parties for the Super Bowl or St. Patrick’s Day, or those wonderful summer barbecues, consider these diet-wise Party Preparedness Strategies from nationally known registered and licensed dietitian Susan Burke March, author of "Making Weight Control Second Nature: Living Thin Naturally."

● Pick your battle. Which is more fun – fatty foods or a fit body? At parties, avoid the waist-expanding fried hors d'oeuvre and bowls of nuts. Make weight control second nature by gravitating toward filling, lower calorie foods such as shrimp and crudités, and feel good not just in the moment, but also over the long haul. A bonus: By skirting calorie-laden and hard-to-digest foods, you’ll automatically feel “lighter,” more attractive and in control.

● Prepare to party by eating! Eat a snack before you go out, such as a container of nonfat yogurt and a banana. By taking the edge off your appetite before a party, you’ll be much less likely to overeat or to go against your better judgment. There’s no need to be anxious about staying in control at a party since you’ll have taken proactive steps to avoid being excessively hungry.

● Say "no" in creative ways. If you’re committed to avoid those waistline-busting party foods, you’ll need strategies. Good hosts want their guests to have a good time and partake in the fare. When offered a high-fat or calorie option, instead of saying “no thanks,” say “Thanks! But, gee, I’m really thirsty right now, maybe I’ll try one later.” Then head straight to the bar and grab a low-cal cocktail such as a wine spritzer or lite beer, or grab a plate of fresh fruit and veggies to fill you up and help you avoid temptation.

● Dance! You can burn many excess calories and have a great time while you're doing it! Don't be a wallflower ... get up and boogie!

● Keep a glass in your hand. If you're holding a glass, it's more difficult to hold a plate and eat. Make a plate of “good choice” foods to begin with, enjoy it, and then keep a glass of water or club soda in your hand for the rest of the evening.

● Eat that piece of cake! It's perfectly natural to enjoy a "reasonably" sized treat once in a while, particularly in a celebratory fashion. The goal should not be to deprive yourself forever or stick to a “diet,” but rather learn to live and eat to stay thin, naturally. A piece of cake every now and then, in the context of a healthy overall lifestyle filled with good choices, is your reward for a job well done.

Susan Burke March is a registered and licensed dietitian and certified diabetes educator who has influenced the dietary health and well-being of consumers worldwide, due in large part to her multi-year and faceted tenure with e-Health leader eDiets.com. As vice president of nutrition services and chief nutritionist, she managed the creation and administration of the technology-enabled nutritional and wellness components of eDiets' products, programs and services. Susan is the author of "Making Weight Control Second Nature: Living Thin Naturally" (Paperback, $26.95, ISBN 9781932421194), eDiets Pocket Guide of Dieting & Weight Loss, eDiets Dining Out Guide, as well a contributing author for the eDiets Weight Loss Solutions magazine and more than 400 nutrition and diet-related articles that have appeared in leading media outlets worldwide.

With advanced certificates in adult and adolescent and pediatric obesity, Susan has also served as chief clinical nutrition manager at Mt. Sinai Hospital of Queens, New York. She is a media spokesperson for the Florida Dietetic Association and has recently completed a two-year elected position as secretary for the Weight Management Dietetic Practice Group, a professional practice group of the American Dietetic Association, and serves as External Relations Assistant Director.

Susan now devotes her efforts to public speaking, counseling individuals, and writing motivational and informative books and articles dedicated to helping people learn how to improve their health and accomplish their weight goals.