Healthy eating is a difficult task when you’re just getting started. There are many bumps in the road and transitions to be made. It can sometimes feel like you’re missing out on all of the fun things life has to offer, especially in regards to your social life. You may be use to indulging in more than a few drinks with friends on the weekends, eating at unhealthy restaurants, or going to the movies and loading up on snacks. Upon reflection, it starts to seem like you’ll have to choose between being healthy or having fun with your friends, but this doesn’t have to be the case.
Here are some ideas/tips that I’ve come up with recently while trying to maintain my social life and my healthy diet as well.
BYOS: Bring Your Own Snacks!
I know that this has helped me out a lot. Mike’s friend has a wonderful home entertainment system where we like to go and watch movies pretty regularly. It tends to be a small group of people but with a high likelihood of loading up on tons of unhealthy junk foods bought from the corner store. Last time we went, I made sure to pack us some healthy snacks. I brought some hummus with multigrain/flaxseed crackers and a chopped banana with natural peanut butter. I was completely content with these choices of snacks and didn’t feel like I was missing out at all. When going out to the movies trade in a bag of popcorn for some healthy granola. Snacks are good to have on you on a daily basis as well. I tend to keep a bag of almonds or an apple or banana in my bag at all times. You never know when you’ll get hungry during the day and need something to tie you over. Bringing your own food works in house party situations as well. If you’re not sure if there will be any healthy options, bring along a veggie platter or a homemade healthy dish or dessert.
Water is super important to any healthy diet. Not only does it keep you hydrated and cleanse your body, but it can curb your hunger. Many times we eat when we aren’t actually hungry. Always be sure to monitor your hunger levels. Drinking water is also a smart choice when out at the bar/in alcohol drinking situations. If you’re going to be consuming alcohol in a social situation but don’t want to go overboard, try consuming one alcoholic beverage followed by 2 glasses of water. Be conscious of how quickly you are consuming your drinks and do your research! There are certain alcoholic beverages that have hundreds or even over a thousand calories in just one drink.
Do a fun/active activity
Ask your friends to go ice skating, roller-blading, bike riding, bowling (minus any unneeded alcoholic beverages or greasy foods) or even just a quiet walk around the park or your neighborhood.
Talk to your friends
Let your friends know that you are trying to be healthy and want to avoid certain temptations. Chances are they will be very supportive of your needs.
Have a buddy
Try and see if there is anyone in your life who would like to join you in your healthy lifestyle choices. It’s easier to stay on track when you have support and someone who knows what you are going through. If you can’t find a person in your life, find some people online! There are plenty of people in the internet world who are going through what you are going through and are willing to give support and advice.
Pick a restaurant/have people over
A way of ensuring there will be healthy food to consume is if you pick the place to eat or if you make the food yourself! There are tons of delicious and healthy restaurants to choose from as well as tons of healthy and easy recipes to make. You can have a small group of people over and cook together! (if you have the space for it)
Have Will Power
This is a tough thing. You will most certainly be faced with situations where you are surrounded by unhealthy foods/beverages. If you don’t have a healthy alternative at hand, don’t be afraid to just say no. It may seem like a hard thing to do at the moment, but remember your goals and the progress you are making. You will be glad you persevered. There are bigger things at hand than giving into temptation. If you do happen to slip up, try not to beat yourself up. A lot of times one taste of unhealthy food can lead to a whole landslide of bad choices. Try not to get into the mindset of “well, I already messed up, might as well go all out.” Let that mistake be a small instance in the big scheme of things and get back on track as soon as possible. No one is perfect and the best way to avoid going into an unhealthy binge is to not restrict yourself too much. Allow yourself certain times to have something that isn’t necessarily on your healthy meal plan. Everything in moderation though.
Hope some of this helps anyone who may be struggling in this area!