6 Tips How to Stay Social on a Diet
We’ve all been there, maybe you’re there now—Trying to keep your friends while dieting. From dinner invites to bar hopping, it’s tough to not become the center of attention for being on a diet. Everything you order, masticate and digest seems to be more of a focal point than it actually is for you.
Sometimes it can get to the point where you’re dodging judgment and silent prayers by your ‘friends’ that you’ll screw up on your diet. They may be rolling your eyes every time you talk about portions, or they may be devoting a single solitary prayer at night to your ultimate failure in your healthy transformation.
Are you torn between ‘unfriending’ your diet-destroying friends and finding a solution that works for all of you? Well, then you’re a good friend if you happened upon these quick tips.
If we can’t convince your pals to hop on the healthy train, let’s find out what you can do so you don’t become an anti-social recluse with 4 friends on Facebook-all of whom are probably related to you.
Plan, Plan, Plan Ahead
Let’s be real—most of the time when people ‘hang out’ they want to go to dinner or a trans-fat-infested bar and grill. The key to saying no to the Tour of Italy and all its glorious carbs at Olive Garden is to be armed with a list of places to dine that has menu items that keep you on track. Therefore, if dinner is a must, simply suggest some healthier places to go.
If majority wins in your circle of friends, then prepare yourself to try and order healthy items with a side of groans from your friends. Even better—when you do order, order a to-go box with it. Scoop half of your meal into it so you can control your portions and avoid the comments that you ‘hardly finished your food’ (on the plate the size of a hub cap….)
Substitute All the Things
Ok, not ALL the things, but if you must go to dinner to a restaurant with more saddle bag sides than your diet prefers, still order, but substitute and special order so you can shave off empty calories and simple carbs. Get a water instead of that soda. Get a baked potato– hold the ‘loaded’. Get steamed veggies instead of a deep fried side. And, if your diet doesn’t include artificial sweeteners, but you want to satisfy your sweet tooth—bring your Stevia to flavor your water. Squeeze a few lemons in it and make your own lemonade. It’s all about your commitment–you can still go out to eat and stay within the boundaries of your diet. Who knows….you may inspire one of your friends.
If you’re going to drink at a bar, know what drinks won’t unhinge your diet. Straight and hard alcohol, including gin, rum, vodka, tequila and whiskey are great choices. Mix your choice with water, club soda, tonic or a diet soda (if your diet permits.) There are no carbs or sugars in any of these choices. But—be careful how much of this hard stuff you take in, because it will alter your choices later in the night, say—when your friends swing through White Castle’s and order up a triple case of sliders.
Snack bags are your friend, mmmmkay? You can easily measure out your diet-friendly snacks and have them on hand if you’re out with a friend who wants to swing through a drive-through. While they order up a double-chin burger and super-sized thighs, you can snack on some almonds, trail mix, grapes, pistachios, dried fruit and the like while sticking to your diet.
Scratch Dinner—Do Something Active
While it may not be your thing to be active with friends, it’s never too late to start. Suggest you get together to play a friendly game of volleyball, go hiking or totally destroy them in a few rounds of laser tag. Chances are you’ll all be happier and closer from the experience while burning calories and avoiding the ‘sit and stuff’ monotony of going to dinner.
Get a Fit Friend
While you’re doing something active with your pals, take time to see if any are interested in being your fit friend. Find a friend you can train with, be accountable to and rely on for evening and weekend plans if the big group can’t handle your healthy lifestyle. You aren’t phasing them out necessarily, but you are setting yourself up for a mutually beneficial situation where motivation and dedication are matched. If your other friends want to go get wings, beers and clogged arteries–you and your fit friend can make other plans.
Keep Some Things Sacred
Ok, there are annoying friends who don’t respect your diet, but admit it, there are annoying people who share their every drop of sweat on social media to the point people are rooting for failure. Keep some things sacred. It’s great to be proud, join a group on social media to share your every meal prep pic and leg day meme.
But when it comes to your more diverse circle of friends, share sparingly. You’ll still get the motivation you need from fitness groups while staying in good graces with your friends.
Now, you have several tips to assist you in your quest to stay social during your diet. But–it’s important to note that while these tips can help YOU stay social while dieting, make sure your friends earn their spot on your friends list. If you have a friend that is constantly chastising your healthy choices, talking you out of reaching your goals or bringing you down for wanting a healthy life, maybe the best tip for you is to choose better friends. Because what is a friend if not someone who wishes the best for you?
Now, you’ve got the tips, you’ve got the dedication—go apply it and stick to your diet.
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