Lesson 4.4: Addressing Eating Out, Vacations & Special Occasions : Tips & Strategies

Eating out, vacations and special occasions are difficult times for preventing over-eating and binge eating because usually they are times of celebration with abundant foods that are full of calories, fat and sugar and usually exercise takes a backward seat. Before we discuss what to do during these times, lets re-address some strategies that we can use in our everyday life.

In this video, Dr Terence Chong, discusses the strategies he would use to reduce over-eating and preventing binge eating.

Eating While You Cook

Eating while cooking is a mindless way you can overeat without being aware of it.


Use the following strategies to prevent bingeing while you cook:
– Immerse used dishes and utensils immediately in water after using.
– Chew gum while you cook.
– Use only teaspoons to taste.
– Avoid having a glass of alcohol as you cook despite the appeal.

Social Occassions

Eating out with people can be challenging. For some people , work means they have to entertain clients. Sometimes  the people you go out socially with, regularly eat as their form of social interaction.


1) Buffets

Buffets are created to indulge both the eyes and mouth with the abundance of food options available but it can be a trap for over eating and over indulging in high calorie foods.

2) Eating at Someone Else’s House

It is important that you do go to people’s houses when invited to dinner and not decline invitations as it is imperative to feel that you lifestyle changes do not hinder your social life. Sometimes friends and family are very understanding and will often provide good healthy options. So it does not hurt to have a conversation with the host if you are comfortable doing that. It is hard to dictate what eat but here are some strategies that you may be able to use.

Use the following strategies when you are worried about over-eating at someone’s house:
– Offer to take a dish so at least there will one low calorie option.
– Take a small portion of high calorie dishes and fill the rest of plate with salad and vegetables.
– Bring a fruit salad for dessert.

3) Special Occasions

Although most special occasions seem to focus on high calorie foods, focus on features of the occasion that make that occasion enjoyable. Eating moderate amounts of food would not spoil your enjoyment. In fact some people actually discover that they enjoy the occasion more when they eat and drink less.




Holidays are for times or relaxation, rest and re-charging the batteries. Just because you are on holiday,  does not mean your healthy eating should be left at home. At the same time, it is imperative that you enjoy yourself and do not feel deprived and unhappy.

Use the following strategies while on holiday when making food choices:
– Consider having a good continental breakfast rather than hot breakfast every day.
– Have a light lunch like a salad to ensure you get your nutrients in then enjoy your dinner with careful choices.
– Consider sharing desserts with someone or having desserts in alternate nights.
– Look at drinking every 3rd night and watch how many glasses you are drinking.
– For those travelling for business, get into the good habit of knowing exactly how much food you are eating and say no to extra food options which can be found at late night suppers, airport business lounges, abundant conference food and meals, and multiple coursed business and first class aeroplane flight food. There are plenty of healthy and low calorie, fat and carbohydrate options nowadays for business travellers. Learn to say, “no” to more food despite its availability.


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