Birthday cakes, pizza slices, buffet serving trays and bowls of candy… you walk into a party, and suddenly your carefully planned diet has gone out the window. Whenever you have large groups of people in need of food, it is much easier and cheaper to go the salty, greasy, and unhealthy route. That’s the problem with social settings when you are trying to eat healthy, and these types of scenarios can be roadblocks for any success with weight loss. So how can you avoid unhealthy food without becoming a hermit?
Plan Meals in Advance
The one thing about a social event is that you almost always can plan ahead. Usually, you’re invited well in advance, so you know that you’ll be in a social setting and what type of environment, i.e. office party, potluck dinner or children’s birthday, you will be attending.
If you know the host well enough to attend their party, then you should be comfortable asking about the menu plan for the event before you attend. This will give you a better idea of what to plan for. If you know there will be unhealthy foods served at the event, plan meals in advance. Then you can do the following:
- Eat a healthy meal or snack before you attend the event, and carry a small snack in your purse in case you get hungry. By controlling what you eat you have better control over your diet.
- If you feel it appropriate, such as for a family event or party for close friends, offer to bring something to serve. Choose a healthy, yet simple dish, as this can be your chance to spread the message about eating healthy, delicious foods. Plus, it also ensures that you will have at least one food option that you know is healthy and beneficial to your Weight Success plan.
Avoid the Social Overeating Habit
It’s not only the matter of eating unhealthy food, but also the matter of overeating in general when in group settings. Everyone has a different metabolism; some people need to eat more than others. The problem is, in a social setting, people tend to eat as much as everyone else in their group, regardless of whether we need to or not. We unconsciously want to “keep up” with whoever is eating the most.
This means that overeating is a very common problem in social situations. This was proven by a Dutch study reported by CNN. The science indicates that we mimic the eating habits of those around us, and “This demonstrates the power of social influence over food intake,” said the lead author of the study, Roel Hermans.
So what should you do to avoid the overeating habit in social settings?
- Avoid trying to keep up with the Joneses, so to speak, regarding your eating.
- Be aware of our tendency towards “people pleasing,” which involves joining in with the social eating in order to make those around you feel more comfortable.
Know that these tendencies are proven to exist, and that you have to make a conscious effort to avoid overeating in social settings. Before you reach for the buffet, ask yourself: are you getting more food because you’re actually still hungry? Or are you just eating because everyone else is?
Stay on the Healthy Eating Path
Here at Weight Success Centers it is our mission to help you succeed with your weight loss goals. Through our gourmet weight success meal plans, we will provide you with locally sourced, chemical free fresh meals. Let us help you avoid unhealthy food in social settings by replacing such options with our ready to eat foods.