Are you suffering from food peer pressure this holiday season? Food peer pressure is no joke by any means. Between the holiday gatherings with family, friends, and coworkers, it’s easy to get tempted by all the naughty but nice foods and treats this season. Next time a holiday function occurs, try some of these tips so that you can enjoy the party without feeling any guilt over what you ate.
1. Ask the Host/Hostess What is Being Served
One of the best ways to resist food peer pressure is to be prepared. About a week before the party, call the host/hostess and try to get a better idea of what foods are going to be served. Is your friend making a traditional holiday feast with all the trimmings? Or is she making a plant-based vegan spread? Figuring out what is being served ahead of time will make you feel much less stressed about the event and more likely to resist food peer pressure.
2. Eat Ahead of Time
Sometimes, the holiday event you’re going to simply won’t have enough healthy food for you. No one wants to be the whiney guest who complains about her diet! If that’s the case, eat a healthy and balanced meal ahead of time. Eating well before the party will keep cravings at bay and help you resist food peer pressure from your friends.
3. Bring Healthy Dishes for Everyone
If the situation permits you to bring some food, try bringing a healthy dish that everyone can enjoy at your holiday gathering. You could easily make a salad out of nutrient-dense greens like kale or dandelion greens that everyone would like. Other good options are fruit salad, or even a whole grain brown rice pilaf. If you bring a healthy dish, you’ll be less likely to indulge on all the bad stuff!
4. Distract Yourself Away from the Food
At holiday functions that involve lots of tempting, high calorie food, you can keep yourself from overindulging by distracting yourself away from the food. Instead of lingering in the kitchen or near the buffet table, try to find an area where you can relax, enjoy time with your friends and family, and not worry so much about the food being served.
5. Hydrate More Often
We often mistake thirst for hunger, resulting in eating way more than we should. If you like the occasional alcoholic beverage, it’s also super easy to get dehydrated at holiday functions. Make a habit of always having a glass of water with you. This will keep your hands busy and make you less likely to gorge on that dip and crackers.
6. Politely Decline
Sometimes you’ll feel pressure from the host or other guests to indulge in something unhealthy. When all else fails, a simple ‘No, I’m not hungry, but thank you!’ and a sincere smile is all it takes to resist food peer pressure. Also remember that just because your friends are eating cheesecake and drinking wine, it doesn’t mean that you need to eat this way as well.
7. Indulge Strategically
If you do decide to indulge at a holiday party, be smart about it. For instance, if you know that your best friend is having a holiday event on Friday night, it might not be such a good idea to go to happy hour with your coworkers after work one day where you’re likely to enjoy several cocktails and some high-cal appetizers. At the end of the day, eating right is about balance and indulging strategically. Save those cheats for your friend’s party instead!
The holiday season doesn’t mean you need to bid your diet farewell! Play your cards right and you’ll be able to enjoy the parties, gatherings, and other festivities all while resisting the food peer pressure that accompanies this time of year. What are some of your tips for avoiding food peer pressure?