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Aging Well: Party tips and food tricks to eating well

Headed to a potluck or party where additional dishes are welcome? Bring something healthy to help you and others age and eat well.

This biweekly column is sponsored by The Mather in Tysons, Virginia, a forward-thinking Life Plan Community for those 62 and better.

While we’re all likely enjoying more time at restaurants, outdoor gatherings, wedding receptions and birthday parties, we may suddenly gain some extra pounds with all of these added festivities!

This can be particularly true for those age 60 and better, who may gain weight more quickly due to natural changes in metabolism and hormones. Of course, you can try to burn off those extra calories with exercise — but it’s also good to practice moderation in the first place.

Here are some tips to help party-goers of all ages avoid the gain and still have fun:

  • If you’re an evening exerciser, try moving your workouts to the mornings, that way get-togethers don’t interrupt your exercise routine.
  • Don’t go to a party hungry! You’ll have more will power if you eat a healthy, filling snack before you leave. Try an apple with peanut butter, or Greek yogurt mixed with fruit.
  • If you’re heading to a potluck or party where additional dishes are welcome, bring something healthy, like a veggies and dip platter. That way you’ll have at least one nutritious choice.
  • When you arrive at an event, discreetly scope out the food options before you start nibbling. Choose the healthiest options and decide which treats you must have — then skip the rest.
  • Have a piece of sugarless gum or a mint ready for when you’ve eaten all you think you should.
  • Throw your own party where you can control what’s served. Include healthy options for drinks as well as dining.
  • When drinking, stick with wine, sparkling wine, or beer. You’ll avoid high-calorie mixers in many cocktails — including soda water, tonic, and juices.
  • Alternate each alcoholic beverage with a glass of still or sparkling water. This will help keep you hydrated and sober, and save calories for the goodies at the buffet!
  • Be aware of how many calories (and how much alcohol) is in your glass. Depending on the generosity of your bartender, your glass of wine may hold more than a standard serving (5 ounces).

The Mather, projected to open in Tysons, VA, in 2024 for those 62 and better, is a Life Plan Community where residents will have countless culinary options at their fingertips through modern, high-end kitchens in apartment homes and multiple restaurants onsite.

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