Having a healthy lifestyle and eating habit can sometimes be challenging in social situations. You have worked hard to achieve the lifestyle and weight that you want so as we move into the holidays let’s get prepared for maintaining what you have worked so hard for.
Plan to Maintain Your Ideal Weight
When you are heading to a social gathering plan before you leave.
Consider eating a small healthy snack so you are less likely to munch on unhealthy party snacks.
Socialize, make sure you spend time connecting with friends and family.
Walk before you go to your gathering.
If you plan to consume alcohol, remember that alcohol contains calories with no nutrients. Also, alcohol can make you feel hungry even if you aren’t, so planning is key. First, will you drink alcohol and if yes then decide on a limit.
Be mindful about what you are eating, research shows it takes 20 minutes for the brain to realize your stomach is full. Make a mindfulness plan for eating, focusing on the people around you rather than the food will help you eat more slowly.
Be strategic about what foods you choose. In a buffet style situation load your plate with more vegetables and then move away from the buffet. Standing close to a buffet table can lead to mindless grazing.
Plan to Maintain Your Ideal Lifestyle
Not all your friends and family may be supportive of your new healthy lifestyle. Sometimes in social situations friends may try to pressure you into eating the way you once did or how they still are. There are ways to still enjoy your time together.
Direct the attention away from food, instead work on sharing memories. Express gratitude for being with them and fun or meaningful events you have shared.
Show interest in the people you are with. Ask questions and practice active listening. Share passions and pursuits that aren’t related to the food. There are plenty of things to bond over that don’t include food.
Recognize that your new lifestyle may be causing an internal reaction in your family or friends. They may fear that your new lifestyle will change your relationship. Try to keep in mind the things that bond you and bring empathy to your gatherings.
If you must attend a larger gathering, consider taking a friend or accountability partner. Having someone that has been on this journey with you can help you navigate the trickier parts.
Consider setting an example about leading a healthy lifestyle. We live in a culture that tends to focus on gatherings that include eating. Think about hosting a healthy cooking class. Or plan a get together at a park and go for a walk.
If you end up overindulging don’t give up. We have had a challenging time since the spring of 2020, so each situation is going to be new and different. Take some time to enjoy the experience you had and then start again with making a plan for maintaining your healthy lifestyle.