Some of you are probably laughing at this headline, saying how much peer pressure is out there to be thin and good looking. But if you’ve ever reached your goals and emerged lean, toned and size 0, you know exactly what I’m talking about here. “You are too thin!” you hear from your girlfriends you used to go out with. “Oh, come on, one glass of wine won’t kill you,” your guy friends tell you. “Just enjoy, you only live once,” your family keeps saying. Now you know what I mean. There are times you find yourself in situations where you feel obliged to eat just to be polite. What do you do?
Here are a few strategies my clients swear by and they help them eat healthy, feel relaxed and stay in control.
Successful Dieting in Social Situations
1. Visualize Success— mental stimulation is the most powerful tool and visualizing yourself healthy, strong and fit is the best thing you can do for yourself. Visualize yourself enjoying your friends and family at parties and holiday gatherings instead of stressing about food. Imagine yourself leaving the party, feeling in control and proud of yourself for staying on course instead of feeling guilty and bad.
2. Prepare several one-liners –before you go out or to a party, call one of your friends and tell her that you are training for a marathon or some other competition, and that your trainer is really strict and instructed you to only eat certain foods. This way you deflect the attention from you and actually get support from your friends, as they will try hard to help you stay on track.
3. Make a plan – before you arrive at the restaurant, call ahead and explain your dietary restrictions. Don’t worry, everyone these days has a food or foods they don’t or can’t eat. Use “allergy” excuse if they give you a hard time. When you arrive at the restaurant, you won’t have to worry about appearing difficult to your friends.
4. Tell a white lie – it’s often difficult to avoid drinking wine when you are out at a nice dinner. As soon as the server comes to the table to take drinks order, say loudly how you’ve been getting headaches when you drink and your doctor told you might be allergic to alcohol. That gets you off the hook immediately and because you announced it to the whole table, your friends will now feel bad pressuring you. Order sparkling water with lime instead.
5. Flip the tables – if you are out with a friend who is encouraging you to munch on something you don’t want, try responding with a simple but firm statement, like “I’m ok without fries but you should order them if you want to.” And if this becomes a recurring issue, stop dining with that friend, you know she is just trying to sabotage your efforts. Go to a movie or coffee with her instead.