How to Navigate a Party without blowing your Nutritional Goals with Ryan McMullen

In this episode, Coach Ryan covers how to stay healthy at parties and social events.

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I’m joined by MetPro Coach Ryan McMullen. We’re going to be discussing how to navigate a party while on MetPro. Ryan, thank you for joining me.

Thanks for having me. I am excited about this topic, Crystal.

I am, too, because I am also a MetPro client as well as a coach. You’re cruising along. You’re doing your thing, and then you get invited to a party, and now it requires a whole new set of skills because it strikes fear in my heart because that temptation can be tough. What do we do to prepare for this party?

There are a lot of steps here. The first thing is to prep your mind going into it. What I talked to many of my clients about is, Where are you at mentally going into this? Remind yourself of your goals before you show up or if you’re hosting. You need to be aligned with your goals, where you’re currently at, and how this will either affect you positively or negatively.

Step one is to get your head right before you go. A more actionable item is you never want to go somewhere hungry. You’re much more likely to end up reaching for those bad things if you’re starving. Blood sugar gets low. You haven’t had any carbs. You didn’t have dinner because you want to participate in hors d’oeuvres or maybe someone’s cooking for you, and you go in starving, and then you are at the mercy of whatever is there, which tends to not be great.

That’s counter-intuitive. You’re saying before you go, even though the attendant thing, I’m trying to be careful with what I’m eating. Our intuition says, Eat less, go hungry. You’re saying, No. It’s the opposite.

I’m talking to my clients who have been with me for months. They’re on this trend of eating five times a day, breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, and dinner. Sometimes 6, sometimes 4, depending on the person. We’re used to this rhythm of eating. Most people’s biggest mistake is getting set and ready for this party or get-together, and they’re like, I know this is going to be off my diet. I’m going to skip lunch and my snack to prepare for this. That is the worst thing you can do.

You’re going to go into this party starving because you’re used to eating all day long. All of a sudden, we have 2 or 1 meals that are skipped. When we’re hungry, we’re much more likely to overeat portion control. Going in, when you’re already semi-full, you’re going to choose small portions. You’re not going to have as much of those maybe unhealthier items. That’s going to set you up for success. Eating before you go is the number one thing that I coach. Even if you know dinner is going to be off, eat before you go.

To prepare, we need to get in the right mindset and eat before we go. Now we’re at the party, what do we do now?

It depends if we’re talking drinks or food.

We’re talking both.

We’ll start with food. First thing’s first. Bring something. Prepare something and bring it. No one’s going to be upset with you for bringing a veggie plate with a good Greek yogurt and dill dip with lemon juice and garlic. These are great things that you can bring. Also, ask the host. It depends on the party. If it’s a big get-together and everyone’s bringing something small, great. If they ask you not to bring something, that’s fine too. Ask before you go, What can I bring? Get those gears turning of, How can I make this healthy? How can I make this something I can eat that’s going to fit my plan, but everyone is going to be happy?

That makes a lot of sense. At least one thing is going to be healthy there because you’re bringing it, you’re in the right mindset, and you’ve eaten beforehand. The alcohol, what are we doing with that?

It goes back to mindset first. Everyone’s going to approach this a little differently. I’m human. I’m a super social person. I love gatherings and having people over. I like going places. Alcohol is a big part of our adult social life. This is going to play a role. You have to ask, What are my goals? Go back to the mindset. What is alcohol going to do to me tomorrow? If you are a person that is training for a marathon, or you’re consistently exercising six days a week, how are you going to feel that next day if you have 3 or 4 drinks?

We know alcohol is a diuretic. It’s going to dehydrate you. We know it’s going to have you or cause you to have a lack of sleep. You’re going to sleep terribly, even though we all feel like we pass out like a baby after a couple of drinks. We’re not getting that good quality REM and slow-wave sleep that we could potentially get without it. It starts with mindset. Once again, go in thinking, What is this going to do tomorrow? What is this going to do to my eating habits? We get into the conversation of inhibition lowers. You have a couple of drinks, and those cookies start looking a lot better.

Go in with the mindset first. If you’re going to have drinks, two things. One, limit yourself. We don’t need to have 4, 5, or 6 drinks. A lot of the time, alcohol is participation. Everyone is drinking. It’s a social thing. You can have a drink or two drinks that are going to be lower in calories, which we can talk about, like less of a dent and not have you sleeping and feeling like crap in the morning.

It’s like food. Is there going to be bad options there that you might have a few bites of? Yes. Limit your portion. The same goes for alcohol. We don’t need 4, 5, or 6 drinks. We can have two, feel good, participate in the social gathering and not completely ruin the next day. When it comes to low-calorie drinks, we’re looking for generally clear or hard liquors.

It is the opposite of intuition. You think that a beer, because it’s lighter, in your mind it’s less alcohol. Therefore, it must be lighter, but that’s not necessarily true.

That’s not the case. The alcohol is one thing, but carb content is another. There are going to be a lot more carbs in a beer than a shot of tequila or vodka or gin. There’s going to be a lot more sugar in something like a glass of wine than a shot of tequila. We have to look at alcohol as a whole, not, This is a high volume of alcohol versus this beer is only 5%.

It’s not so much about the type of alcohol in general. It’s about what that alcohol content comes with it, and the carbs come with it on the lower types of alcohol.

The carbs or the sugar, like champagne and white wine packed with sugar. Clear liquors are going to be far easier on your digestive system. They’re going to be far easier in terms of carbs or sugar. They’re not going to cause those crazy or as much of those crazy swings in blood sugar levels.

Something else that I remember my first time, drinking on MetPro after I had not been drinking for a long time. My coach at the time suggested that I try something that was non-sugary. I am typically the person that if there’s alcohol there, I want the fruitiest drink, which equals a lot of sugar. If you’ve been eating a MetPro for a while, you’re not used to having sugar. My coach cautioned me, Watch out because you might get a headache if you have one of those. She suggested I take some Crystal Light and put it into a drink. It tasted wonderful. I didn’t have that headache that comes with a big dose of sugar when you’re not used to it. That’s a good tip along the lines you’re talking about as well.

Most people know this because most people have eaten clean or cut out sugar for a period of time. It’s so interesting when we cut it out for 2 or 3 weeks, and then we have that bite of sugar. It’s strange. It’s not as satisfying. It’s dense and feels like too much. As you acclimate yourself to it, if you’re eating sugar 2, 3, or 4 times a week, it’s going to feel less dense. The same goes with drinking. If you’re used to these sugary drinks or cocktails with a lot of sweetness on them, they’re not as good. Simply staying away from that can keep that same habit going of not craving the sugar, not being acclimated to it, and enjoying different drinks.

I love making cocktails. I am the bartender in my house. I’m a big fan, but I also enjoy making them light, making them something flavorful that you can enjoy. There are a lot of things that people don’t think of when constructing a cocktail. Citrus is by far my favorite. Citrus juice is dense and flavorful. It packs a punch, but it’s low in sugar and calories. You can go a long way with a little bit of lime juice, grapefruit juice, or lemon juice. It’s going to pack a lot of flavor into your drink. You mix that with gin, vodka, or tequila, and you already have a cocktail going. People like the bubbly. An easy way to do that is mixing some flavored seltzer water, and we’re getting even more flavor.

Typically, what you’re looking for is like a LaCroix or a Waterloo, some sort of seltzer water that’s flavored. They come in so many different flavors. You’ve got grapefruit, lime, grape, and strawberry. That can add flavor to your drink as well. You’ve got citrus juice, flavored soda water, your alcohol, and then by far my favorite thing, garnish.

Is this to make it pretty, or is this because it’s for taste?

It’s for taste and flavor. Much of our taste buds happen through your nose, what you’re smelling first. One of my absolute favorite drinks is to make a gin and soda water and lime juice cocktail garnished with rosemary. When you bring that drink up to your face, you get this whiff of rosemary, and you drink, and it expands your flavor. You can do this with many herbs and many different garnishes. You’ve got rosemary, thyme, mint, basil, and the list goes on.
That can provide a neat experience. It’s also pretty.

If you’re the one making the drinks, you’ve got all kinds of options for people. It’s lower-calorie, less sugar, and looks pretty, so you look like a great host too.

If you’re hosting, that’s a great situation to say, I’m making cocktails. Even better, if you’re showing up, volunteer. Who’s going to say no to you making a cocktail? Raise your hand and volunteer to be the person that makes the cocktails. If they’re having something specific, make your own. There are super easy things that you can bring and take with you, like soda water, juice, your alcohol, a little bit of garnish, and you’re done.

It’s like bringing a cooler, you’ve got your hors d’oeuvres, your drinks on the other arm, and you’re good to go. Maybe since there might be people reading who aren’t sure exactly what MetPro is, it feels like a good time to give a little background on MetPro. For the readers, MetPro has a concierge service where your concierge coaches are highly trained specialists who work closely with you to achieve specific goals. Those goals can be anything from fat loss to athletic performance. It’s across the board.

We also work with executives, professional athletes, people in the entertainment industry, and anyone ready to transform. Using the MetPro platform, it allows our coaches to gather a complete picture of your metabolic rate, responsiveness, and lifestyle in order to craft and update your meal plan with precision and never guesswork. If you’re busy, you travel, or maybe you struggle to find time to reach your wellness goals, experts will support you with a fully personalized strategy based on years of research and body transformation experience.

Our clients are going to receive one-to-one coaching that includes baseline testing and a tailored meal plan. It’s going to be meal by meal. It’s going to have a detailed analysis of how your metabolism is responding. We’re going to have an explanation of every time we make a program adjustment and what you can expect next.

If you’re looking for the latest calorie counter or one-size-fits online coaching, MetPro Concierge probably isn’t for you. If you’re tired of gimmicks and willing to shop and prepare for your meal plans, our one-on-one experts are ready to help you master your metabolism and transform. Let’s say you get to the party, you’ve got your drinks and food, but there’s all this other food around you. Are there tips for navigating all of the temptations?

There are a few. Again, mindset. You’ve already controlled for that because you’ve thought about it before you go in. You’re already doing the work before you get there. That should set you up for success, but then you see those little things that you like. It helps to have support, which brings me to my favorite thing to ask my clients to do. When you go to a party with a spouse or a friend, or you’re going to a place of close friends and family, share what you are doing. Share the process you’re in, doing MetPro, or you’re on a program. You have a coach. You have someone looking at your nutrition and saying that you are dedicated to making this a part of your lifestyle.
Simply sharing that with your loved ones, close friends, and family members, you get a lot of support from that. They’re going to be the ones that are like, Are you sure you want to eat that? You told me you were dedicated to this. Do you want that cookie? Do you want those hors d’oeuvres? Are these going to fit your plan? That can be immensely helpful to have that support and that structure around that. Don’t be alone.

It’s like another level of accountability.

Exactly. Your coach, they’re talking to you weekly, and they’re texting you, but on that Saturday, when you’re by yourself and have no coach to text or call in an instance to say, Talk me off the ledge here, have your family members there and share with people what you’re doing, because it’s a positive experience to say, I signed up for this program. I’m on a diet. Share with them the good about what you’ve experienced so far. My energy levels are through the roof. I feel great. I’m sleeping better than I ever have in my life. I’m losing weight and seeing a difference. I want to stick with this. If your friends are in support of you, which all of our friends are normally in support of, they’re going to support you through that.

I can see why that’s your favorite thing to ask your clients to do. That’s a powerful way to get buy-in from people around you.

Buy-in and also holds you accountable because then you’ve proclaimed that you are doing this program, and you are dead set on hitting your goals and following this. You have that extra accountability for yourself, not just coming from others.

That’s a good point. Let’s say you’re the one hosting because, on the one hand, that makes it a lot easier. You’re the one controlling all of the choices, but on the other hand, you want to be mindful of what your guests are going to enjoy and things that are their favorites. Let’s say you want to have a lot of different options. How can you strike that balance to keep in mind what they want to eat versus what you want to eat?

There are a couple of ways you can hide it or have willpower. If you are hosting and making all the food, there’s generally a conversation of, What do you guys like? What do you enjoy? What can we make? Maybe they’re bringing something. Take that recipe and tweak it. Tweak the idea to be healthier. There are many substitutes and little things that you can change out, switch, or leave out, and nobody will notice. It is going to be far more in line with your program. I challenged my clients, Find me a recipe that I cannot fit and make work for your plan. Try it. I have not been stumped yet.

Even pizza?

There are ways to do it. Cauliflower pizza, low-calorie marinara. You got your cheese. That’s a great source of protein and fat as long as you limit how much you’re doing. You throw a heaping load of veggies on it, like bell peppers, mushrooms, and onions.

What do you do with ice cream?

Not desserts.

Fair enough. Are there ideas that you have for snacks that are easy to switch out for people going to come with things that you can easily lighten up that would be good to serve?

Veggie platters are great options. Believe it or not, cheese plates are great because you can nibble at those a little bit here and there. They’re going to be a great source of protein and fat. Simple little things like that can go a long way as long as you’re monitoring portion control. We can’t eat a whole wheel of Brie cheese. It’s not going to go well. I don’t care who you are. Have little hors d’oeuvre options that are normal and limiting portion control.

We’ve gone over different kinds of foods, alcohol, and things you can do to prepare for the event. What else are we missing? What else did you keep in mind if you’re going to be attending or hosting a party?

Peer pressure.

How do you tackle that? If everyone’s drinking, and they’re like, Why aren’t you drinking? Don’t you want a drink? If they’re like, I know this is your favorite. You’ll love this. You should have this. That’s my grandma, I made this just for you.

We all have a family member to that is that way. Peer pressure is hard. It starts with sharing what you’re doing. I genuinely feel like when I am serious and express, I’m doing something that I’m invested in. I’ve been following a program, we’re going to events and gatherings with people close to us and know. They know who we are. They’ve maybe known us for a long time. Most of the time, you knock out the peer pressure the moment you say something like that. We’ve already covered that.

Now we’re in a situation where you do have that family member that is, I made this, especially for you. I know it’s your favorite. Come on, have another drink. It’s fine. First off, blame it on your coach. I tell my clients to blame it on me. Say, I’ve got a call with Ryan on Monday at 9:00 AM, and he is not going to be happy with me. I’m going to have to hear it from him. I don’t want to. Blame it on your coach. These people don’t know me. They can hate me. I’m okay with it.

In the situation where it’s, Please, come on. I made this particularly for you. I know you love this, limit your portion control. You’re not going to throw away all of the progress that you’ve already had if you have a bite or two of something. It doesn’t matter what it is if it’s a brownie or ice cream or some favorite lasagna that your grandma makes because we all have those. It’s not going to ruin your progress in the long-term.

Limit your portion control and jump back on your plan immediately. Don’t throw in the towel for the weekend because you messed it up on a Friday night. I see so many people do this. They mess it up on a Friday night, and they wake up Saturday. They don’t feel great, and they’re like, I gained 2 pounds yesterday, which is not real. You don’t gain 2 pounds in a day. A lot of it is water weight. When you do see that, jump right back on plan. You’re limiting that time you are making a debt because we don’t want to turn one meal, one instance, or one night into a weekend extravaganza.

That is good advice. Get back on it and don’t think about it. That is excellent. You made me think of another question for you. If you are hosting, especially, this can be tricky because now you have all these leftovers that are so hard to resist that temptation. What do you do with that?

Two things, send them home or freeze them. I use these two tricks a lot. I didn’t even pick this up myself. I believe I learned it from another coach. I believe Paulie, which was great. Send them home or freeze them. Number one, you send them home. Who is coming over to your house that’s getting food to take home? Who doesn’t love that, We have all this extra of this? Take this. People say, Great. The second piece is if those people don’t take them, freeze those leftovers. I don’t know about you, but for some reason freezing something, and then you take it back out, and it doesn’t look as good. You’re not interested in it. You have to go through this whole process of thawing it out.

That’s the big one for me.

How do I cook it again? Is it thawed enough? Do I put this in the oven? I don’t know what to do with this. When you freeze it, it might sit in your freezer for 2 or 3 weeks, and then you’re going to look at it and be like, I need to get rid of this. That’s an easy way not to feel like you’re throwing away food and not saving it. It’s not in your refrigerator for an easy grab while you’re on a break from work but in the freezer. Send them home or put them in the freezer.

Ryan, this has been a wonderful talk. I appreciate it. Thank you so much for your time. Can you give people your email address to reach out to you if they have questions?


For all of the readers out there, you can find all of the episodes anywhere you get podcasts or find them in You can also learn more about MetPro at Until next episode. Remember, consistency is key.

Done with Dieting with MetPro

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