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How do you make wise eating decisions at a special occasion such as a birthday party? I have trouble refusing all the bad foods (eg. sausages, chocolate, cake, dessert)! Help!

I get asked this question quite a lot as a trainer.  Even when I go to a birthday party and refuse to eat certain foods, I often get questioned "Why!?  It's a birthday party!".  But I've been doing this for over 3 years now and don't regret refusing a single little bit of dessert (even though I'll have some every now and then).

What I have found is that a lot of people confuse the whole concept of a birthday with eating excessive amounts of food.  A birthday is an anniversary to be celebrated in the company of people that are important to you.  A birthday isn't an excuse to binge on foods just because "it's a birthday".

I think that the best way to approach a birthday party is to enjoy everyone's company - rather than placing the emphasis on enjoying the food.  You are there to celebrate the occasion...doesn't it seem really superficial to place the focus on the food rather than the people?

Okay sure people go to a lot of trouble making lunch and all.  But you also have to make yourself a priority.  Eat the foods that you feel comfortable eating.  But don't begin to disrespect your own body to make someone else feel better.  A lot of people feel pressured into eating everything just because it's there.  But you'd be amazed at the amount of respect others will have for you when you have the ability to say "no thanks".

When you are the cook - this is even better!  You can create healthy and tasty meals that everyone (including yourself) can enjoy!  Scrap the sausages and go for some lean marinated meat.  Avoid the chicken stuffed with cheese and opt for fresh seafood with some (optional) dipping sauce.  Make healthy salads or cook some nice vegetables with a healthy home-made sauce.  Instead of chips, have some nuts.  Offer a fruit platter rather than a bowl of chocolate.  There are so many healthy options out there!  And sure, cake is traditional...but you still don't have to have a huge slice :)

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