It’s wedding season! From fancy black-tie affairs to simple backyard soirees, food is every reception’s main event—aside from the happy couple, of course. If you still want to love your body after all the open-bar cocktail hours, champagne toasts, no-limits buffets, and delish wedding cake slices, we’ve got the advice you need for eating at weddings so you don’t overindulge. The good news: You can still celebrate and enjoy the festivities while staying on track with your healthy diet.

When Your Eyes Are Bigger than Your Stomach

Mom always said it: “Your eyes are bigger than your stomach.” We usually know how much we can eat, but when everything looks so good, it’s hard to control ourselves. Don’t let the plated dinner or tempting buffet while eating at weddings take you off course.

At a sit-down meal, evaluate your plate. Chances are the portions are doubled versus what your body really needs. Don’t worry about the clean-plate club; eat about half of what you’re served and enjoy every single bite knowing you’re in control. Worried about waste? Offer up the extra to your dining companions before you dig in.

For eating at weddings with buffets and food stations, the key word is “sample.” Don’t go belly up! Instead, stick to small tastes of the items that look irresistible to you. Visit the buffet or each food station only once so you won’t be tempted to overload. And keep those handy portion guides front and center in your mind: like a serving of cheese is four cubes and a portion of meat or fish is a deck of cards.

Mindfully savor your flavors rather than speeding through. By eating slower, your body and brain will sync up faster, giving you the “I’m full” cue so you know when to stop and won’t want more. When you’re full, you’re done. You’ll thank yourself the next day—and when you’re on the dance floor later that night!

Make Smart Choices

Just as you make good choices in the grocery store and at restaurants, honor your health goals by making smart choices while eating at weddings. Seek out fresh fruit and vegetables during the cocktail hour, which will fill you up before you get to the main meal. Avoid breading, processed foods such as tortilla chips, and high-sugar sauces and dips. Look for options that are grilled rather than fried. And aim for that rainbow of color on your plate from nutritious foods such as sweet potatoes, berries, tomatoes, peppers, and dark greens, including kale and broccoli.

Consider your few small indulgences as treats not cheats. Stick to a sampling strategy with goodies such as dips, cheeses, dressings, soups, and sauces. When you can’t pare down a portion, offer to share with your date or your friends. And finally, be cognizant of what you’re eating. Especially when hors d’oeuvres are passed around the room, it’s too easy to be tempted.

Strategies for Successfully Eating at Weddings

Let’s get specific! Here are our top five strategies for better eating at weddings:

  1. At the bar, opt for wine or a shot of liquor instead of calorie-packed mixed drinks with tons of sugar. Limit yourself to two drinks and have water the rest of the event.
  2. Don’t eat the croutons in your salad; they’re loaded with carbs and calories that just aren’t worth it.
  3. If you want to carb indulge, go for the cake. Don’t reach into that breadbasket; wait to celebrate with that slice of wedding cake.
  4. If you really don’t trust yourself at the buffet, use the smaller salad plate as your main dish. You’ll have less room to load up, which means you’ll eat less. Then keep yourself in check and don’t go back for seconds!
  5. Plan ahead. You planned your outfit in advance, so do the same with your diet. Be extra “good” with your eating the week before the wedding and you won’t feel as guilty about some indulgences at the wedding. Consider them a reward for a job well done!

Last but certainly not least, don’t forget the bubbly! Did you know champagne is one of the lower-calorie drink choices at the bar? So sip, savor, and celebrate!

Get Wedding Ready with CoolSculpting

Sometimes, we do go overboard with eating at weddings. It happens. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Just get back on the saddle and return to your regular way of eating as soon as possible. If you have a history of eating a little too much—and have the extra inches as a result—it might be time to take a different tact.

Bodify is Phoenix’s premier CoolSculpting boutique. By using our patented FDA-cleared process, we target excess fat cells and kill them. Our non-invasive procedure is painless, quick, and highly effective. Whether you have upcoming weddings to attend or just want to look great, it’s time to schedule a consultation to learn more. We’ll be happy to help you achieve your goals.