Two things are happening this weekend:

1) It's officially three weeks since you kicked off your New Year's Resolution
2) It's the second biggest weekend in football - Bears/Packers and Jets/Steelers

Why are these two important?
The social/party factor goes up exponentially. When people gather - they eat and drink - a lot. And they sometimes forget about all the great things they said they said they were going to do for themselves when the clock struck 12 on NYE.

The second you start making exceptions to your commitments, whether they're diet-related, fitness-related, or unrelated to health entirely, it's easy to continue making exceptions. Before you know it, the promise you made to yourself to lose six pounds by Valentine's Day is out of reach because you didn't continue making the effort.

Healthy Eating Party Tips to Keep you on Track
Here are a few social gathering tips that will help keep your resolution going strong beyond the playoffs this weekend, into the Super Bowl and beyond!

  • Fill Your Tank Before You Hit the Road: Don't arrive to a party hungry. When you get hungry, the easiest thing to do is to reach for something refined and sugary to jack up your blood sugar levels (candy, crackers, pretzels, etc). Instead, grab a healthy snack before you leave the house. It's more likely that you'll be able to control your eating when you see a spread of amazing food.
  • Water, Alcohol, Water: While I'm not encouraging alcohol consumption, let's face it - the beer industry advertises like crazy this time of year for a reason. If you're not the designated driver and will be enjoying a drink or two, have a glass of water first, and then again in between every drink. You'll stay hydrated and will feel fuller longer.
  • Avoid Mindless Eating: When you're standing around talking, and a big bowl of chips is arms-reach from you, it's easy to just grab a handful here and a handful there. Grabbing one or two chips will not kill you, but four, five or six handfuls could easily add up to several hundred calories.
  • Keep it in Perspective: Know that 3500 calories is equivalent to a pound. It's not difficult to pack down an additional 1000+ calories without making an effort. A couple drinks (soda, beer or wine), a savory side dish, a dessert and a couple handfuls of something else - and you're nearly there.

There is no reason not to have a great time, enjoying good food and company. Just try to avoid falling back on old habits that could undo all the progress you've made so far this year! Have a great weekend.

Full Disclosure
I live in Chicago, but was raised in Wisconsin. I also don't know a lot about football. It's actually embarrassing to admit exactly how little I really know. I'm one of those people that cheer when other people cheer, and cringe when someone looks like they've been hurt really bad. That said, I get the 'Bears or Packers?' question A LOT! I usually answer "My parents are huuuuuuuuge Packers fans." While that in no way answers the actual question - it gets me off the hook. My parents are really big fans...especially my mother. You go mom.