How to Handle Social Pressure While Dieting

Published by FitWatch

While dieting, have you ever felt pressured to eat fattening foods in social settings?  Do your friends and family love to tempt you with rich, high calorie goodies even though they know you’re trying to lose weight?  This kind of “peer pressure” can be frustrating for sure - but you don’t have to cave under the pressure.  Below are some coping strategies to help you handle it the next time it happens. 

1 - Eat before you go.

If you know that you’ll be faced with a lot of temptations at a gathering, it’s worthwhile to eat something filling before you go.  A large salad is a great choice because it’s low in calories but makes you feel satisfied for a few hours.  Lean protein sources like fish, poultry and beans have the same filling effect.  You’ll find it much easier to turn down rich foods when your tummy is already full.

#2 - Have just a little.

If you prefer to blend in and not make a big deal about your diet, it’s not the end of the world if you decide to splurge just a little!  This will be easier if you already applied the first tip and ate something to help fill you up.  Then just try a few small bites of the richer food.  If it’s a “buffet style” setting with a lot of different foods to try, take larger portions of low calorie, healthy foods and just a sampling of the high calorie foods.

#3 - “No thank you.”

Last but not least, simply saying “no thanks” is one of the most effective ways of getting people to back off when they try to push food at you.  You don’t have to justify why you don’t want to eat something; just say, “no thanks”.  If they persist, you can add, “maybe later” and that may placate them. 

Whatever you do, don’t get angry at them for trying to make you eat something you don’t want to eat.  There are many reasons why people do this.  Sometimes a host or hostess may worry that you aren’t enjoying yourself if you aren’t eating much; or sometimes a close friend or family member will feel justified in their own overeating if you join them.  How they feel isn’t your responsibility, and no one can make you eat something you don’t want to eat.

Your odds of success in overcoming these challenges depends on your willingness to be prepared ahead of time and stay true to your long-term goals.

See:  How to Stick to Your Diet When Eating Out
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