Most people use the term “pre-game” to describe having a drink and relaxing with friends before a scheduled social event. For me, it means eating at home before I go out, so that I eat fewer of the wrong things when I get there. Going out to a restaurant with friends is a fun, relaxing and psychologically healthy thing to do, but the inevitable overload of calories from starch, unhealthy carbs and fats and alcohol is not. People order appetizers to share, bread with butter comes to the table, then the entrees, shared desserts… not to mention the alcohol, which in itself contains almost as many calories as would suffice for the meal. Think of the cocktail parties and the endless circulating trays of hors d’oeuvres. With a mixed drink or glass of wine in hand, even a few of these snacks can add up to 1000 calories or more. In just a few minutes, you’ve undermined all your efforts that week to eat healthfully, exercise and control food intake.
Unless you’re not hungry when you get there. Enter pre-game.
I am attaching some photos below of delicious, low carb, protein-rich, satiating snacks. Drink a tall of glass of water with these, and you’ll find no problem politely declining the foods (and drinks) that sabotage your efforts and hard work. Think lean turkey, tuna or salmon, avocado, nuts, eggs, fruit, a couple tablespoons of whole milk, plain yogurt. (Don’t forget the tall glass of water!)
All whole foods, all healthful, all delicious. These are just a few examples and the possibilities are endless! Remember, choose whole, unprocessed foods, no starches and no added sugar. Enjoy your pre-game! And then later that night, focus on your friends, not your food.
Laura Fitzpatrick, M.D.