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How to Not Be a Dinner Party Disaster on a Diet

Okay, so it’s the new year. You’ve resolved to up the ante as far as your health goes, and have decided to cut back on refined sugars/refined carbohydrates/hydrogenated fats/etc. Things are going swimmingly- you have a ton of energy, your skin is glowing, your hair is luscious, and you feel like a million bucks. You tell yourself that you will stick to your guns this time. You are like a fortress of health- nothing’s getting past that moat of determination. But then fast forward to that dinner party invitation’s arrival. How is your new and improved diet going to make it past the wine, the cheese, the mashed potatoes, and the chocolate mousse? Here are some answers to dinner party questions that will help ensure that you’re not the dinner party dud:

#1: Should I give my host a head’s up about my diet before the party, so that they can accommodate my needs?

Unless you have a food allergy, in which case you should absolutely let your host know about it beforehand, no. Try to remember that you aren’t going to a restaurant- the cook (most likely also your host) is not equipped to handle everyone’s dietary restrictions. They simply can’t be expected to remember that so-and-so’s a vegan, that this person doesn’t like mushrooms, or that you are on a strict no-refined-sugar diet. If you are genuinely concerned, offer to bring a dish to share with everyone- a gluten-free lasagna, a big salad, or a fruit platter for dessert.

#2: Is it appropriate to share the details of my diet with other guests?

If you’re feeling especially great about your results thus far and can’t help but share your wealth of dietary knowledge with others, then go for it. But be sure to pay attention to the other people’s cues; if they seem to be falling asleep in their chairs or if they are rolling their eyes every time you mention the benefits of eating a clean diet, then it’s probably time to change the subject. Nobody wants to the person that everyone avoids at the next get together.

#3: How can I politely refuse food that I shouldn’t be eating?

This is a tricky one. If you haven’t discussed the details of your diet with your host, then you may want to politely decline the platter of scalloped potatoes and casually say something to the effect of “that looks amazing, but I’m not eating cheese for the time being”. A simple “no, thank you” should work just as well, though. A gracious host should be generous, not pushy.


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