There’s nothing worse than wanting to make healthy choices and being surrounded by people who are splurging. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with cheating now and then. It won’t wreck your diet and will keep you from feeling deprived. That doesn’t make it easy to make the right choices when your friends aren’t, so here’s some easy advice that lets you stay on track when you want to so that you can truly enjoy eating out with friends without having to worry about ruining all your hard work.
1. Choose What You’re Going to Eat before You Arrive
Most restaurants post their menu online these days, which makes it super easy to browse it and make a healthy choice before you even get there. Look over the choices and select a meal that aligns with your goals. When you get to the restaurant, don’t even look at a menu. That way you can’t change your mind.
2. Always Order Your Meal First so That You Don’t Give in to Peer Pressure
When everyone else opts for the double bacon cheeseburger, it’s hard to have the willpower to order the salad. If you order your meal first, you’ll be able to order what you want for your goals without giving in to what all your friends are doing. Once you’ve made your order, you’ll feel silly changing it so ordering first keeps you on track.
3. Claim a Certain Part of the Fridge and Cupboards
Whether you live with your spouse or a roommate, it’s hard to make healthy choices when you’re surrounded by junk food. Create a small part of the fridge or cupboard for your own healthy food options. That way you can grab something when hunger strikes without being tempted as you sift through all the other stuff that’s in there.
4. Host a Potluck Instead of Going out to Eat
Next time you plan to gather with friends, consider hosting a potluck meal at your house instead of going to a restaurant. When you cook at home, you have a lot more control over the ingredients in your meals, which allows you to eat healthy without giving up things you love. Even if your friends bring junk food, you can cook a couple of dishes you can feel good about eating.
5. Carry Healthy Snacks with You All the Time
Say you’re going to the movie or the mall with your friends. What are you going to do when you get hungry? Without your own healthy options, chances are you’ll chow down on popcorn, fries or candy. Prevent the temptation by packing a delicious and healthy snack to enjoy when hunger strikes. Nuts, cheese, energy bars and fruit are good choices.
6. Decide to Be the Model Rather than the Follower
While your friends probably don’t want you to preach about healthy eating or brag about your good choices, you can decide to be the leader. By making your own healthy choices, you can inspire all your friends to do the same. Over time, you’ll all be making good decisions when it comes to eating and time together will be healthier while still being fun.
7. Keep Your Eyes on the Prize
You likely make your healthy eating choices because you have a goal you’re trying to reach. Whether it’s losing weight or preventing heart disease, keep your eyes focused on the end result and the rest should fall into place. Even if you want the cheese fries, remember why you’re choosing the salad and you’ll feel great and find yourself reaching your goal in no time.
Do you think any of these ideas will work for you? What other things help you stay healthy when your friends aren’t?