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What to do when wedding season threatens to ruin your diet

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It wasn’t until I was spoon-deep in creamy cheesecake covered in melba sauce that I realized I had a problem.

The week leading up to my friends’ nuptial included running, salads, V-8s and minimal snacks on the road trip to Philadelphia. Yet somehow all of that nutrition and discipline flew out the window the second I saw waiters with puff-pastry goodies coming toward me at the reception. The night was a whirlwind of awesome food — pasta in a baked cheese bowl, grapefruit vodka cocktails, strawberries dipped in chocolate and, of course, the cheesecake.

But this was wedding No. 1 of five for me in 2013, and there is no way I can indulge like this roughly once every three weeks for the next several months.

Wedding season is a great time to dress up, shake it on the dance floor and toast friends and family as two special people dedicate their lives to one another. We budget our money for these celebrations. We pick out attire in advance that fits the occasion. We purchase gifts off of registries. With all of this prep work, how do we keep ourselves from eating everything short of the bride and groom?

Here are a few quick tips to keep you on track with your diet while still having a good time at the next wedding you attend. These ideas aren’t revolutionary, but when thought through before the next celebration, they’ll provide the tools you need to get through a reception without feeling guilty.

 

Limit your alcohol consumption.

Besides the fact that alcoholic drinks are also often high in calories, getting loaded lowers inhibitions and makes you more likely to throw away your diet on one more slice of cake or five more bacon-wrapped goodies. Instead, drive water or caffeine in between alcoholic drinks to keep from getting too tipsy.

 

Share dessert instead of eating your own.

One of the many plus-one benefits is that you don’t have to feel like you have to eat that whole piece of cake. Split a slice with your sweetie to satisfy your craving, but limit your calories.

 

Plan in advance for the celebration.

Celebrating a special event is encouraged, but if, like me, you have five — not to mention the bridal showers and bachelorette parties involved — you need to indulge accordingly. That means you don’t have to eat every piece of cake or bread roll because another one is coming next week or next month. Also, it means not going to a reception on an empty stomach, so as to be too ravenous to see the tray of mini crab cakes that you downed.

 

Shake it.

Cutting a rug is a great way to keep you away from temptations like the bar or cookie table. Plus, you’re burning as many as six calories per minute, even if, like yours truly, you dance like Elaine from “Seinfeld.”

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