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dinner dilemma, what should i do?

as the girlfriend of an artist, my weekends are always filled with art openings. it's fun, but the problem is that they always have a wide variety of amaaaazing food. i always struggle to keep myself under control.
tonight in particular there are a bunch of openings. i know they say that starving yourself beforehand is not healthy and will just cause you to stuff anything into your face because you're so hungry. i understand this. but what if i just eat an apple or something before i go and then let the food at the art openings serve as dinner? is that a really bad idea? i know i'd still need to be careful and stay in crontrol. i know it would be healthier to just eat a healthy dinner and then not eat much at the openings, but i just don't think that's realistic. any advice?

Fri. May 4, 2:29pm

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I would eat a small snack before the openings and then eat at the openings. It's a fun atmosphere and I am all for enjoying oneself. HOWEVER, don't over do it. Practice portion control and you will be fine. Have fun!

Friday, May 04, 2007, 3:17 PM

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Well you mentioned that they have a wide variety...just make sensible healthy choices. Choose the fruit and veggies options instead of the cakes and cookies. Go with a game plan in mind and how you'll stick to it. Maybe you'll allow yourself one sweet thing as a reward.

Friday, May 04, 2007, 3:23 PM

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I agree. I would eat something small earlier in the day, but then don't go crazy. Scope out the offerings when you get there and plan what you are going to eat for the evening. For example "I'll have 1 salad roll, 2 of those tiny crackers with spread, 1 of those chicken skewers and I'll nurse a glass of red". That way you can pace yourself a bit and somehow just saying it in your own head helps you stick to it. If you suspect that different plates of goodies will be appearing throughout the night - then go a bit slower and make sure you keep track of what you've already eaten so you know wether or not you can 'afford' it. Watch out for waiters who snatch up empty glasses and plates - it helps you forget that you've already had 2 glasses of white and an entire plate of food.

Friday, May 04, 2007, 3:25 PM

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I often make a "cocktail hour" count as my dinner. But you still need to be careful! Figure each thing you eat has at least 100 calories, and judge by that. If I'm somewhere with passed appetizers, I can take 4 or 5, and call it dinner. So, I choose carefully. If something doesn't look fabulous, just b/c they come around with it doesn't mean I have to take it.

Try to time out how you eat. For example, have a glass of water in between each time you eat something. That'll make it easier too b/c you don't have to juggle as much in your hands.

If there's a buffet table, make sure you stand away from it and talk to people; that way you won't be mindlessly munching while you talk.

Remember, above all (and this is the tricky part for most people on this site) - the event is an art opening. The objective is for people to see your boyfriend's art. Eating is not the objective. It's just a pleasant "extra." So, enjoy and focus on the art, and have a few nibbles if you so choose.

Friday, May 04, 2007, 3:52 PM

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take a moment to reflect on how many ungloved hands have touched the food being passed around (the waitstaff sometimes are in charge of replenishing the trays as needed, and often do so without gloves), and ask yourself how long the food has been unrefrigerated. this dissuades me from noshing almost every time i attend such a function. i eat a hearty salad before arriving and drink a glass or two of wine. if i'm still hungry afterwards, i have something light like some toast or a handful of nuts.

Friday, May 04, 2007, 4:02 PM

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My husband recently got the stomach flu, we think from a bowl of nuts in a bar. Can't be sure, of course, but that's what it seems.

I still eat the passed appetizers, but, a bowl full of unwrapped food in a room full of strangers is now entirely unappealing!

For those who don't know, stomach flu is passed only through direct contact with vomit or feces; it is not passed through the air or through saliva. The virus can live for 36 hours. So, someone who didn't properly wash their hands after using the rest room is the most likely spreader of the virus. And they don't actually have to have the virus; it gets sprayed around the bathroom pretty good if someone flushes with the toilet seat up. I avoided the bathroom that my husband used the whole time he was sick, and for about 2 days after he was better; although we shared the same bed, and had been kissing just a few hours before his symptoms started, I did not get sick.

Anyway, if that doesn't dissuade you from eating, not much will!

Friday, May 04, 2007, 4:28 PM

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to the op:

so, how'd you make out with the food choices?

Monday, May 07, 2007, 4:23 PM

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OP here :)

thanks for all of your great tips! i had a fun night. i ate a 60 cal dannon yogurt smoothie before the openings and that was it, so i had a little more leeway with the yummy food selection. at the openings i did pretty good. i had a plate of fruit and a few triscuits with cheese. by the time we got to the last one i had lost my determination a little. i had 1 brownie bite, 2 cream cheese pastry bites, and 3 maple sugary brownie bites. the awesome thing is that they were all bite sized so it didn't add up so fast. i should have stopped at 1 or 2 desserty treats, but i still think i did good. and i'm really glad i decided to skip dinner beforehand. thanks again!


Tuesday, May 08, 2007, 11:07 AM

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Good job! While not the most nutritious dinner ever, it's certainly not one that'll ruin your weight loss!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007, 3:05 PM

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Guess I'm too late for your event this time,
I definitely find that when I eat an apple or a banana just before the function, it definitely helps to keep the gorging down to a minimum! :-)

I'm an artist and yes, I LOVE going to openings because of the goodies as well.

To the poster who mentioned food being touched by many hands, that is a great way to look at things-- i try not to eat anything that doesn't have toothpicks or other things to grab the food with...

Oh, and I had a party at a billiards hall recently where I made all of the foods---I gave my guests plenty of fruits & veggies and cheese & crackers. We ordered a cake and sliced pizza as well.

Towards the end of the night, the bar got really crowded and some obnoxious 20-somethings started "stealing" my food even though it was clearly for a private party! I thought that was the rudest thing ever.... At the end of the evening, however, I left the food because I did NOT want to eat any leftovers that were being pawed at by a bunch of drunken idiots....

Tuesday, May 08, 2007, 9:03 PM

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by the way, it's good that you are even thinking ahead before going to the party! That means that you're developing a conscious decision-making attitude towards making the right food choices! :-) Good for you!!!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007, 9:04 PM

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I read once that at parties there are two kinds of people -- the eaters and the talkers -- surround yourself with some talkers to keep away from the food! Good luck!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007, 9:42 PM

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