Summertime is the prime time for BBQs and potlucks. Below are tips on how to enjoy these gatherings while taking care of your body.

Hunger Level
Go to gatherings when you are slightly hungry rather than starving. You will have more control around the type and amount of food you eat if you are not overly hungry. 

Shrink Your Meat
Meat can fill your plate and your stomach quickly. When hosting, offer some smaller choices of meats like burger sliders, pulled pork or chicken, individual rib portions, and smaller pieces of chicken. Don’t forget the smaller buns, too. 

Enjoy Food
With so many food choices at gatherings, sometimes you can feel overstuffed before you are done eating. Take a small amount of all the foods you enjoy and stop eating when the food does not taste good anymore  an early sign that you are full. 

Choose Movement
It can be easy to sit all day while at a gathering, but moving will improve food digestion and blood circulation. Move around to visit with others, play horseshoes or croquet, dance, or grab a friend and walk around. 

Water loss from your body increases when you are outside. Adults should drink at least two cups of water every hour you are outside  more if you are moving your body. 

Drop the Comparison Trap
It’s easy to look at the plates of those around you and compare what they are eating to what you are eating or wish you were eating. Everyone has different needs, emotions, and stress that affect their decisions. Enjoy the food you choose to eat to satisfy your needs.

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Beth Jones, RDN
Registered Dietitian