When it comes to adopting a healthier diet, there’s no time like the present… unless your present-day plans include meeting up with friends. There’s no denying that it’s difficult to maintain your own healthy lifestyle when surrounded by others who aren’t on the same plan, but the keyword there is “difficult” — it’s not impossible.
The following are five tips that will help you fulfill your social duties while on your journey to better health. It’s going to be tough, but you can do it, and you’ll feel so great at the end of the day when you’ve stuck to your guns. And, over time, your body will reflect the hard choices you’ve had to make — there’s no better feeling than that.
1. Share Your Goals
You can only hold yourself so accountable to your diet if you’re the only one aware of your goals. The next time you’re out with friends, be sure to let them know that you’re trying to stick to your new healthy lifestyle. Often times, this will be enough to remove any pressure that they’d put on you to indulge alongside them. They’re your friends, after all, and they want to see you succeed as much as you do.
2. Plan in Advance
Eating out adds a whole new layer of difficulty to already-tricky social situations. Fortunately, there are many ways to stick to your diet when you go out to dinner, specifically.
For starters, you can peruse the menu and nutritional facts online prior to dining to plan what you’re going to eat. This is especially important for dieters concerned with specific dietary information, such as sugar. With the breakdown of each meal visible, you’ll be able to see which dishes fit with your parameters, and which dishes have added, unseen sugars that would derail your progress.
Other ways to keep yourself in check: avoid ordering beverages beyond water, fill up on salad prior to the entrée, hold unhealthy toppings… the list goes on. But with all of these actionable tips in mind, you’re sure to make the right choices for many dinner parties to come.
3. Fix Your Own Plate
Dinner parties or barbecues might have party hosts filling up plates for each guest, but you’ll want to politely decline this service. Instead, fill your own plate with portions that satisfy your new eating habits… and perhaps a few cravings as you watch others indulge.
As a rule of thumb, you can stick to just about any healthy-eating plan by filling half of your plate with veggies from the get-go. From there, you can fill the rest halfway with protein and halfway with a healthy starch, if there is one. That way, you can still eat the same foods as everyone else, just at a ratio that matches your new lifestyle and goals.
4. Switch Up Your Regularly Scheduled Activities
Perhaps you and your girlfriends have a standing dinner date each month. A dinner table is a great place to catch up, of course, but girls’ nights probably entail lots of wine, dessert and other indulgences that simply aren’t on your menu right now.
This month, try and switch things up by suggesting a new activity for your regular reunion — emphasis on the “active” part of activity. With so many trendy workout classes hitting the market these days, you could all sign up for one and have a blast while burning some calories. And, if everyone still wants to do lunch afterward, you’ll feel extra inclined to make healthy choices after a good workout to start your day.
5. Get Your Game Face On
Let’s face it: some friends will have a harder time accepting your new lifestyle, no matter how great you look or feel. That’s why you have to prepare yourself to stand up for it in case peer pressure starts to kick in.
Most of the time, friends’ pressure comes from a good place: they want you to have fun and indulge like everyone else. But if you’re steady your reasoning and refusal to eat what’s off-plan, they’ll see that you’re happy doing your own thing.
Perhaps the most important tip in all of this, though, is to give yourself a break if you do forget to look at a menu or fill your own plate. A single indulgence won’t ruin your progress, so don’t beat yourself up. Instead, wake up tomorrow and start fresh and instead relish in the fact that you had a great time with your friends — that’s what it’s really all about, after all.
About the Author
Kacey is a lifestyle blogger for "The Drifter Collective." Throughout her life, she has found excitement in the world around her. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations, cultures, and styles, while communicating these endeavors through her passion for writing and expression. Her love for the world around her is portrayed through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts.