Is your social life wreaking havoc with your weight? Lunch with your girlfriend. Beer and chicken wings with the guys. Wine after work. Take out Friday night (you deserve it after the week you’ve had!). Date night Saturday night. Family brunch on Sunday.
Getting together with family and friends are often connected with food – but could these social activities be sabotaging your weight goals?
Possibly. Here is why:
Most of us eat out more than once a week (think about how often you eat out across all meal and snack times). Restaurants are notorious for offering larger portion sizes – they want their customers to be happy and satisfied. However, larger portion sizes are consistently found to result in us eating more food without us feeling more full. Yes, you read that right! Depending on how often you eat out (and I would guess that most of us eat out more than once a week), this could result in you moving further away from, rather than closer to, your weight goal.
When I work with clients around weight loss, I am actually focused on managing their weight, rather than weight loss at all costs. I coach people on sustainable lifestyle strategies that result in their body moving to a weight that is best for them. This approach allows the focus to be on a healthful lifestyle, and not deprivation. Social excursions, depending on what they look like and how often they occur, could be undoing some of your work and progress. I don’t share this to take away the fun from life. I share to raise your consciousness around your social habits and how food fits into that.
Does this mean you cannot go out to eat with your friends or family to eat?
No! But it is important to look at how this social activity fits into your lifestyle and your current health and lifestyle goals.
As you think about your social activities with family and friends, think about how these activities involve food and how your eating changes when you eat out:
Most of us enjoy connecting with family and friends around food. Most of us enjoy the entertainment offered to us through food. Are there other ways you could enjoy your time together? Could you:
It is the everyday habits that you do consistently that make the difference as to whether you will move toward or away from your goal.
Over the next month, notice how your social activities involve food and see how these activities could be impacting your progress toward your goals.