Tips and tricks to avoid overdoing it when dining with friends.
I don’t care how busy your schedule as a working mom is, it is absolutely vital that you make some time to spend with your friends. The stress relief of socializing (not to mention the free therapy) is invaluable for our mental health. It doesn’t matter if you are going running, doing yoga, or just sitting in the park, you need a support system around you, and you need to make time for them. For me, this involves going out to dinner, because it’s pretty easy to get a sitter for a few hours, and everyone loves a hot meal and a glass of wine now and then. The problem is, it can be hard to refrain from eating and drinking too much, especially because it will probably feel like a holiday (from your kids, at least). Nobody likes a mom hangover though, so here are a few tips and tricks on how to avoid overeating or drinking when out with friends.
Pay attention to your friends: Your first inclination may be to down a glass of wine, especially if you don’t get out much. Focus almost entirely on reconnecting with your friends and really listening to what they are saying. The benefits of this will far outweigh the benefits of a few sips of pinot.
Eat what your body needs, not what it wants: You may think your body wants a slice of double-down chocolate pie, but if you think about how it will make you feel later, you might reassess. Eating slowly helps you better understand when you are actually full.
Take a break in the middle: Halfway through the meal, head to the bathroom, or go outside for some fresh air. This will help reset your mind, and if you are overdoing it a little, you can start to pace yourself a little better. If your girlfriends are getting dramatic, that would be your cue to take your break.
Give yourself leeway and rewards: Many times, people overeat or drink at dinner because they aren’t having a great time, and want to go home early, or they are having an amazing time and are dreading going home. Give yourself permission to leave early if you feel like it. If you don’t want to go straight home, plan another small event, like a long drive, or some fro-yo. The most important thing about dinners like these are that you reset your mind, and relieve your stress. If that doesn’t happen at dinner, then make it happen on your own.