What is your greatest challenge when it comes to eating healthy?
I hear form my clients all the time, that one of the biggest obstacles they face when transitioning to a new diet is social pressure. The most typical excuses of not eating the right way are birthday parties, lunch invitations, family meals and dinner parties with colleagues and friends.
So, how to deal with these situations?
Once you gain a level of confidence, you realise that you do not have to have these excuses and you do not have to avoid these events in order to stay true to your healthy way of eating.
I’ll give you a few practical tips on how to get there.
First of all, the reality is that these occasions are about something else than food. The important thing is being together with your family and friends. If you keep this in mind, you will find it easier to handle these situations.
When you are invited for lunch or dinner, there are different scenarios we have to look at.
1) When the host is somebody from your family or a close friend, they normally know you and your eating habits.
So eating well should not be a problem because these people
are most probably thinking about you and preparing something that you can eat as well.
2) When you go to a restaurant with friends, there are also different things you can do.
- it is you choose the restaurant or at least make a suggestion about it
- look up the menu ahead of time. If it is not a very specialised place serving only very restricted types of food, then it is almost always possible to choose an ideal food corresponding to your diet, adding maybe some extra requests for the waiter. The restaurant wants to serve you so they will do their best to please you.
3) When you are invited to a party and you know the host, I recommend you to tell him/her about your eating habits in advance, so you know what kind of food will be served.
If you think that this food is not for you, you can choose from the next options:
you agree with the host that they serve you a special meal you offer to take some food with you; bring enough of it to share with othersyou eat before the party and you just take a drink there and socialise.
At bigger parties where you can choose from a buffet table, there will most probably be something for you too. If not, nobody will notice if you don’t eat. Make sure that you don’t go to a party extremely hungry if you are not sure that there will be food for you too.
Always remember, in case you have to refuse a food, be comfortable with it. It is ok, to say: No, thank you.
Get your mind right. YOU decide what food you want to eat, what food is good for you. Nobody can force you to eat something you do not want to. Remind yourself why you are doing your special way of eating and it will immediately feel easier. Be kind to yourself.
However, also keep in mind, that people are mostly focusing on themselves and they do not care, or do not even see what other people have on their plates.
In any case, spending time with your family and friends or celebrating are much more important than eating.