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Thursday, September 1, 2011

How to stay on your diet when eating with friends

It can be very difficult in social settings to follow your diet as you might have planned.  Many times well intentioned friends encourage us to eat "just one cookie" but just one often leads to 4 or more.  What I have learned over the years is that the healthy diet that works best for me is probably completely different from the approach that works for you.  This is why it might be so difficult for friends to understand why what they think is helpful advice might actually be sabotaging your weight loss efforts. I had a difficult time explaining why I completely abstain from sugary and junk foods.  The simple reason is that I just do not feel well after eating them. 

I live in Buffalo, NY, and a tremendous aspect of the culture here is dining and eating out in the local restaurants.  It is not easy being a health nut in the chicken wing capital of the world.  Sometimes I feel a little disjointed from the culture because I do not eat the wings or many of the other popular local eating fare.  When I go out with friends I will order a bowl of soup and a salad when the rest of my friends are eating wings and fries. My guess is that they do not even notice and I am more sensitive to it because I feel like I am the only one not joining them.

What I try to do is ask myself several questions and let my conscience lead me to the right decision.  How will I feel in a few hours? Often food might taste good while I am eating it, but later on I will not feel so well.  Have I exercised enough during the day that I should not worry about the excess calories? Maybe I could have a small portion now and bring home the rest to eat later.  Is there salad on the menu that I could order with my entree?  If so, it will help me to not overeat.

What tricks help you to stay in control when you are eating with friends or family?

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