How To Party Like An Animal and Survive

photo 4The gang is all getting together tonight to party.  They are so excited, but you have committed to eating clean and lean.  You really want to go out with your friends, but how in the world are you going to maneuver the maze of the typical party fare?  From the moment you enter the door someone is handing you a glass of some sugar laden social lubricant. As you stealthily scan the table of dynamite finger foods, searching for something that won’t blow you up, you wonder how you can survive the mine field of assorted goodies.  You have to eat something or you may insult the host. You have to imbibe in a few drinks.  I mean, really, who wants to be the party-pooper!  How do you arm yourself to win this battle?

Everyone has heard of ‘Party rule #1’, that before you go out with friends you should ‘pre-eat’ so that your hunger will be at bay, and supposedly you’ll be less likely to give in to your natural urge to pig out. Then ‘selective amnesia’ happens when faced with the plate of warm cookies.


The amnesia that causes you to eat everything in sight without thought of the commitment you made to yourself: “I’m tired of feeling and looking like this, I am finally going to make a change”.  So you pre-eat, but then you experience amnesia or simply want to join in on the fun.  You pick up a few bites here and there, sip a few too many, and then all hell breaks loose.  You say to yourself, “What the heck, I’m entitled, I’ll start back tomorrow…let’s get this party started!”  Then you wake up the next morning disappointed with yourself, headache, puffy eyes and achy body.  So what do you do?  Skip the party? Miss out on the fun? NO!  You party like an animal.  A ferocious, stealth, laser focused animal.

Your Ammunition:

Be Prepared

  • Bring your own food and drinks. One of my favorite books, Paleo Happy Hour: Appetizers, Small Plates & Drinks has tons of recipes for food and drink that will make you look like the party animal, homo sapien, that you really are.  No one will ever guess that you are an undercover caveman, plotting to succeed on your commitment to feel and look like a million bucks.  Here is a cheat sheet  from that should help.

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Don’t Pre-Drink

  • Having a drink or two to ‘get in the mood’ will only be one step closer to getting sloshed at the party and losing all form of self-control and commitment.

Prepare Your Mental Script

  • It is important to have a ‘mantra’ that you repeat to yourself. This is the simplest, most effective way, to stay true to yourself.  It only requires an awareness, no special rules. Simply be aware of your thoughts, and if they are negative, “I am so deprived, I want that yummy food sooo bad, everyone else is enjoying themselves”, then turn that into, “I am so strong, I feel amazing, I am so proud of myself”.  By not taking responsibility for your own thoughts you leave your mind open to the whims of others. Without a mental script, positive thinking becomes wishful thinking. That mental script shouldn’t be, “I need to…” I want to…” or “I should…”.  Those statements imply, “But I can’t, won’t or don’t”.  It makes no difference how harmless these words seem at the time, they work against everything we truly desire. Your mantra should be stated as if you already have what you want. “I don’t over eat, I am in control, I only have 2 drinks at parties”  You will be shocked how effective this mental self talk is.

Make Good Choices

  • I know, this sounds like something your mother might say as you walk out the door to the party.  So what are good food choices at a party? This chart can help serve as your guide. 

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This may seem like too many steps when trying to quickly gauge if what you are about to ingest is going to hurt or help you.  Making good choices is as easy as sticking with the food that has the fewest ingredients…the simple foods are closest to the earth.  In this scenario would you choose:

  • The meatloaf or the steak?
  • The egg salad stuffed croissant or the bacon wrapped date?
  • The Pina Colada or the club soda and vodka?
  • The vegetable dip or the nut butter?

A dish with multiple unknown ingredients is like a time bomb, you put it in one end and it may explode at the other!   KISS. Keep It Simple and Smart.  Keep it real. Make good choices.

Now that you’re armed with some powerful tools to investigate and  navigate your next party you can join in on the fun without having to sing the morning-after-blues. What other tricks do you use to survive partying like an animal?