They stick with us through thick and thin, through the heartache and the good times but is their influence wrecking your weight loss efforts. Your boyfriend or girlfriend surprises you with your favorite delectable, yet calorie-ridden, dessert. Your friends bring over 2 extra-large pizzas and a case of beer. Your girlfriends order another round of chocolate martinis for everyone on your girl’s night out.
Sticking to a healthy eating regime, even when your friends aren’t around, is hard enough, especially with all the daily temptations that you encounter between work treats and fast food convenience. But it’s almost impossible to stick to your weight loss program when your friends and significant others are bent on making sure you indulge in their bad eating habits.
While your friends may generally have your best interest at heart, they may be wrecking your diet. Don’t let their comments like “What’s the big deal. It’s just one drink or one bite of chocolate cake” ruin all your hard-earned efforts. Don’t let this type of pressure derail your healthy diet.
Get past this common weight-loss barrier with the following tricks.
When you start your diet, ask your friends for support. Clearly explain to your friends your diet goals, the boundaries of your diet program and why it’s important for you to have their support. Make sure to let them know the types of foods you won’t be eating and to make sure they know not to pressure you into derailing from your diet. If they do continue to ask you to indulge in unhealthy eating behaviors, clearly state what you would like them to do (such as stating “Please stop offering me food I’m trying to avoid”).
Take the Focus Off Food.
Do you eat really healthy throughout the day only to find that you blow all your hard work when you go out with friends? If it’s too difficult to order water, grilled chicken and steamed veggies while everyone else is indulging in cheesy fries, greasy burgers and beers then socialize with your friends in ways that don’t revolve around food, at least for a while. When you start a diet it’s generally hard to justify eating healthy while everyone else is not. So hold off on social engagements that involve food until you’re really feeling good about your weight loss and have an easy time sticking to your weight loss program.
Create a Diversion.
Once you start going out, don’t explain why you can’t indulge in even a bite of the chocolate cake, simply divert the attention from your pass. When your friends start passing around dessert, strike up a funny conversation or excuse yourself to make a phone call. Creating a distraction not only gets you off the hook but helps satiate any cravings you may have. If a large fuss is made over food restraint, it can often intensify cravings which can lead to overeating, according to a 205 University of Toronto study.
Schedule an Activity.
Instead of scheduling social activities around food, schedule them around an activity instead. Have a game night or go for a walk with friends. Don’t catch up with your friends over alcoholic beverages, greasy appetizers, and waist expanding desserts. There are plenty of activities that you can do instead that will not only allow you to bond with friends but you may even burn a few extra calories at the same time.
Monitor Your Pace.
Don’t get caught up in the eating frenzy, subconsciously matching others bite for bite. Prevent gorging by filling up a little beforehand, states trainer Mark Verstegen, director of performance for the NFL Players Association and founder of the website Core Performance. “Make sure you arrive hydrated and have a small snack like a handful of almonds, or a banana with peanut butter, so you aren’t as hungry,” he says. Be wary of alcoholic cocktails that pack a lot of calories in a little glass. If you’re at the bar, sip slowly or grab a glass of water. Don’t let your friends catch you empty-handed or they’ll be more likely to order around for you.
Sure, your friends just want you to join in on the fun but don’t let them derail all your weight loss achievements in a single night of indulgence. Stick to these tips and tricks and you’re sure to continue on with your success.