Survive a Food Festival Without Blowing Your Diet

By Tina Haupert

I spent the weekend in San Francisco at the 2nd Annual Foodbuzz Festival. It was all about good friends, good times, and good food! Actually, the entire festival was centered around food—talking about it, sharing ideas, and, of course, enjoying every single bite.

I used to dread these types of events. When faced with lots of delicious food, the temptation to eat everything in sight was always really strong, so I ended up overdoing it and feeling badly about myself later. But, over the years, I've found ways to splurge without regrets.

I eat everything

Nowadays, I see myself as less of a "dieter" and more of a "foodie." I don't select foods just because of their calorie count. I take into consideration their nutritional profile, how they taste, and how they make me feel. Food is no longer the "enemy" it once was. As a foodie, I appreciate all food—no matter what the calorie or fat content. I just make sure to enjoy these indulgent foods in smaller portions. For instance, at the Tasting Pavilion on Saturday afternoon, I savored a number of desserts, but only in tiny portions—about two to three bites of each.



I don't see foods as "good" or "bad"

Instead of categorizing certain foods as "good" and others as "bad," I see them as nutritious or not nutritious. I don't consider cookies, doughnuts, and chocolate bad food; instead I think of them simply as offering fewer nutrients than, say, broccoli or pinto beans! This means foods don't carry judgment and all foods fit into my diet. I try to fill my diet with mostly nutritious foods, but I allow room for the "fun" foods too! At the Welcome Reception & Street Food Fare, I ate a number of foods that offered ample nutrients, but I also saved plenty of room for mini cupcakes.

I splurge without regret

The Foodbuzz Festival was all about splurging! But I didn't beat myself up over it. If I wanted a piece of full-fat cheese, I ate it. When I wanted my fifth mini cupcake, I didn't deny myself. I savored every bite. I don't restrict what I eat; I just watch my portion sizes and make sure to select quality foods. Choosing quality over quantity helps me maintain my Feel Great Weight and feel good about myself in the process.

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