This is a guest post by Nadia Jones. She offers some great suggestions on working in your eating plan with your social life.
Just because you’ve recently decided that it’s time to make some lifestyle changes and control your weight gain doesn’t mean that you have to stop going out and having fun with your friends. But it can be understandable why you may think you need to—there are usually two common weight-loss roadblocks that are included when spending “quality” time with friends: food and alcohol. Whether you’re going out to eat with a group of friends to a restaurant or just attending a small social gathering, high caloric food and alcohol are usually within arm’s length and it can he hard not to succumb to temptation. But it can be done. To learn how you can still be sociable without breaking your diet, continue reading below.
Let Your Friends Know That You Are Dieting
First and foremost you need to let your friends know that you are dieting—this way, they’re not in the dark and will be understanding (nor offended) when you decide to pass on dessert or decline a quick run for a whipped cream frappe. Or at least they should be. Some friends will insist that you are perfect the way that you are and will sometimes even push that you eat more—explain to them up front that you’re trying to lose weight for health reasons and that you hope they can respect your decision. If they can’t you don’t need to hang with such a toxic friend anyway.
It’s Ok to Deny an Invite to Dinner Occasionally
Typically friends like to “catch up” over lunch or dinner—but this is the easiest way to ruin your diet because your portions are usually large, you don’t know how many calories are in each dish, nor the amount of sodium. Not to mention that just looking at a picture of a greasy burger on the menu can tempt you to making a choice that can set you back a week if you decide to cave and order it. Instead of torturing yourself, suggest that you and your friends do something other than eat. You don’t have to do dinner and a movie—you can just go to the movie. Even better, suggest that you socialize by doing something “active”—maybe play a sport, go walking in the mall, or taking a dip in the pool (when the weather permits).
Make Wise Choices at Dinner
When you do decide to grab a bite to eat with a few friends, even the smallest things can help you stay on track: avoid the bread and butter or chips and salsa served at the table. Only drink water with a splash of lemon—the lemon will give you extra vitamin c and can help boost your immunity. Always shoot for vinaigrette dressings, never cream-based. Fried is always a huge no-no. Pass on dessert.
Do Your Best to Avoid Alcoholic Beverages
Lastly, try to avoid alcoholic beverages at all cost. These drinks provide no nutritional value but tons of empty calories. In fact, one margarita alone has 1,000 calories. So if you choose to go dancing with a group of friends (which is one of the more fun ways to burn calories) don’t drink. Drinking leads to bad late-night food choices anyway. If however you feel that you need a drink or two to loosen up, at least ensure that it’s not one of the more fruity sugary mixed drinks. Instead, aim for vodka and soda water with lemon; it only contains about 100 calories.
This is a guest post by Nadia Jones who blogs at online college about education, college, student, teacher, money-saving, movie related topics. You can reach her at nadia.jones5 @ gmail.com.