Have you ever heard the saying: "Calories don't count when you're with friends." While that might be a wonderful reminder to let loose and have fun while you're visiting with old friends, unfortunately, the calories, fat, and sugar you take in during that time count just the same as your lonely digressions.
A little indulgence is natural at friendly gatherings and holiday parties. But get carried away and you'll end up bloated, tired, and bummed out. According to Ayurvedic principles, there's a physiological reason for this: When you eat in moderation, your body and mind are happy. But when you eat too much, you overwhelm your agni (the digestive fire), creating chaos in your belly and inviting unpleasant imbalances such as gas, weight gain, and depression.
The key to making sure you're not eating too much in the company of friends—or anywhere else you may be easily distracted—is to bring your awareness back to the task at hand, your food. As a rule of thumb, anytime you're ready to sit down to eat, remove yourself from distractions. Turn off the television, step away from your computer, hang up the phone, or step away from your friends so you can really focus on what you're taking into your body. That way you'll be able to savor the flavors and you'll be able to tell when you've had enough. When you're done, you can re-join the party feeling nourished, but not weighed down.