Party Trick: Eating To Your Pleasure Parabola

This time of year always seem to bring up that age-old question about navigating social situations. While holiday parties will probably be paired down this season, there is still a chance you will come into contact with less nutritious food which is easy to overeat. Know that your body are your best compass. To tap into that, here is a party trick: eat to your pleasure parabola. You know that arc-shaped structure you learned in middle school math? That’s the one.

What I mean is be mindful and in tune with your body when in those settings with less nutritious foods. Indulge and enjoy, but don’t allow yourself to get into auto-pilot mode. For example, there is a big bowl of chips and dip within arm’s reach every time you turn around at your office holiday party. Pause and think: maybe 4-5 chips with the delicious dip is all you need. That is a good number where you have tasted, enjoyed, and not felt deprived. If you were to eat chips 6, 7, 8…your pleasure curve would start sloping down on the other side. You have already reached your peak, and the enjoyment would be decreasing instead of increasing like it did with chips 1-5. The law of diminishing returns so to speak. Stop when you have reached your peak! Then, change your focus from the food to your friends, family, or the environment around you. And this tip can be applied no matter where you are!