Be a smarter shopper


When you're well nourished, you can skip the mindless munching and enjoy your connection with others. So before you head out to a party, try to have a light meal. Make sure that it includes all six tastes, which according to <a href="/health/ayurveda">Ayurvedic principles guarantees that you will feel fulfilled. It's simpler than it sounds: Brown rice with kale, dressed with tahini, a squeeze of lemon, and some black pepper, provides (in that order) sweet, bitter, salty, sour, and pungent tastes. Add a baked apple, and you've got astringency covered, too.

If you can't eat beforehand, pause before you load up that party plate. Bring your hands together in a gesture of receiving (palms up, pinkies touching). Take only as much as will fit in your cupped hands—Ayurvedic tradition teaches that this is the perfect serving size for your body to digest in one sitting.

Overdoing sweets? Reach for lettuce, kale, oil-cured olives, orange peel, or even dark chocolate. Considered bitter foods, these can neutralize sugar cravings. If you still have the urge to binge, chant a mantra to yourself—yes, even at a cock-tail party. It's said that each Sanskrit mantra is filled with unique energy that will manifest whether you say or think it. Try "Ram" or "Sham" to evoke calm. Mantra repetition delivers the kind of sated feeling you get from a plateful of carbs—but delivers no calories and won't let you down after the high.