Handling special events is an integral skill for long term weight management.  I recommend you:

1. Plan Ahead.
Don't get stuck in the trap of deciding whether to stay "on your diet" in the heat of the moment.  Think ahead, check out the food options if you can, and make a realistic plan that you feel good about, and then stick to it!  Success is sticking to your plan, feeling good about yourself for doing so, and then getting right back on your usual plan.  This applies whether you are in weight loss or weight maintenance phase and whether you decide to stick strictly to your strucutred nutrition or if you decide to add in foods you do not usually have. If you made a plan and stuck to it and then got back on your usual plan, then you succeeded!

2. Avoid Trigger Food or Drinks. 
Watch out for trigger foods or drinks that may make it hard for you to get back on plan. For example, if you are "addicted" to sugar, then having some of it may lead to prolonged intake and another round of withdrawals. So, a plan of having none of it for as long as possible may be more appropriate.  A helpful analogy is alcohol for alcoholism.  You wouldn't tell a person with alcoholism to drink moderately or just have one drink a day.  (This is a spectrum, of course.) Other common triggers ae: soda, bread, pasta, popcorn.

3. "Crowd Out" Temptations.
There are a lot of good foods out there that taste great, too!  Be sure you have many of these options available to you!  It is much easier to control the portion on the roll, potatoes and pie, if you have enjoyed some bacan wrapped sausage, some gorgonzola salad, some cauliflower potatoes, and some sparkling water with lime! Make it easier on yourself!

4. Plan a gathering not completely centered around food.
A great way to join in while not missing out is to plan an activity other than eating! Many people find this is their new favorite part of the day! Examples are: a challenging jigsaw puzzle, a board game, card game, go for a walk, ice skating, play football, or make cards for the USO and give back. Our society has become very food centered, but there is a lot more out there! If it involves your hands, it will prevent mindless snacking.  It is very hard to eat while doing a puzzle!  One client got herself a set of drums she has always wanted!  Think back to something you used to love to do, maybe before you got so busy with work, kids, or cleaning, and bring it back and fill the hole left by removing excessive eating!

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