When you're the cook for a party, your challenge isn't limited to concocting delicious and crowd-pleasing foods. Many times the hardest part about being the host is refraining from overindulging in the tasty dishes you whip up. If you're the host and chef for a party, eating in moderation will keep your diet from derailing. Here are some tips to keep you focused on throwing a great party without throwing your restraint to the wind.
Prepare Dishes in Advance
Whether you're creating a number of finger foods and hors d'oeuvres for a mix-and-mingle party or several dishes for a sit-down dinner, on the day of the event you can expect to be preparing all kinds of foods in the kitchen. When you make everything at once, the temptation to try everything around you is present. One way to avoid this temptation is to begin preparing dishes, or portions of them, in advance. Desserts can easily be prepared in steps and refrigerated or frozen until the morning of the party. You're less likely to indulge in bite size brownies all day when they're frozen and kept out of sight. Same goes for any other hors d'oeuvres or finger foods you prepare. They're the easiest to pick at all day. Prepare, wrap and chill as much as you can prior to the day of the party to keep temptation at bay. If you snack a little on each dish each day of preparation, you'll spread your calorie consumption out.
Use a Plan to Stay on Track
Common advice for any dieter going to dine at a restaurant is to look at the menu and decide what to order in advance. This advice is applicable when you cook for a party. Decide as you're preparing homemade mashed potatoes and toasted garlic bread which particular food items you'll eat during the party. Entering the party with a game plan will help to keep you on track. Know the few food items you plan on enjoying and then fill in the rest of your meal with the healthier items like lean meat, salad and other vegetables.
Eat a Small Healthy Meal before the Party
While you don't want to spoil your appetite, you want to keep yourself from ravishing everything in sight. As soon as you begin feeling hungry (which is likely to happen while you're preparing the food), eat a small but fibrous meal. An apple with a handful of almonds or half of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich will help you to think with your head, not your stomach, during meal time. If you're preparing food all day, be sure to have healthy snacks and foods around you. You're much better off reaching for the banana or almonds when you need a snack than going for a third mini cheddar quiche.
The best way to cook for a party, but eat in moderation, is to stay ahead of your hunger. Snack enough on healthy foods throughout the day and you'll be less likely to overdo it with the party grub later on. Planning ahead will give you the freedom to enjoy a little of everything later without guilt.