Do Birthdays and Diets Mix?

When you’re working on losing weight, birthdays can be a challenge, especially when celebrations stretch over multiple days and include lots of food. Birthdays are so very special, whatever your age, and should include plenty of fun, love, laughs, and good food. When you’re still working on losing a few pounds, like me, they should also include some smart choices so you aren’t kicking yourself for overindulging after the celebrating is over:

  1. Enjoy simple and healthy choices before and after the celebrations – Yes, I was treated to a delicious and maybe-not-so diet-friendly crispy tofu dish and pie dessert the night before my birthday last week, but you can bet I had oatmeal with nuts and dried fruit for breakfast the next morning and plenty of veggies during the day before heading out to a birthday dinner at Fleming’s (more about that below) that night. 
  2. Relish the company – What better excuse to spend time with friends and family than a birthday? Talking, laughing, and connecting with others can help add even more birthdays to your life, according to lots of the research out there. For me, it also means eating slower and eating less during meals, whether it’s a big get-together or gathering of a smaller and more intimate group (my favorite).
  3. Walk, dance, get moving – You’ve heard it before; move more and you’ll burn more calories. While I wasn’t able to fit in a night of dancing or a long morning walk on my birthday this year, I did get in some extra walking thanks to remote parking spots here and there and a fall carnival at my daughter’s school. The added bonus? If you’re like me and LOVE birthdays, you may already be feeling great, but if you’re not a fan of birthdays, moving more can help release feel-good endorphins to help ease the pain of another year.

Food and restaurants are some of my favorite parts of birthday celebrations. One of the restaurants I was able to enjoy this year was Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar in downtown San Diego. As one of the HealthyDiningFinder restaurants, I was familiar with them, but I’d never had the chance to eat there. It was incredible! My husband was beyond happy with his steak (his birthday is the day after mine so this was kind of a double celebration), and I ordered one of the specials, halibut and asparagus, which was so, so good. I’m a sucker for fresh halibut. We finished up with coffee and split the fresh berries dessert. There wasn’t anything we didn’t like.

I’m feeling good about some better choices and a few pounds lost. I’m still struggling with consistency, but now that I’m another year older and wiser, maybe I’ll magically get a handle on it.

How do you celebrate birthdays while sticking to your healthy diet? What’s your favorite restaurant/food to enjoy for your birthday?