Don’t Let Your Friends Make You Fat

By Olivia Mungal

We know. It’s rude to turn down food, but apparently, buying a round of appetizers or drinks for the table may not be such a nice thing.  According to a study from Case Western Reserve University suggests we feel socially more comfortable if we eat a similar amount as the others around. Peer pressure is one of the leading reasons many people indulge in unhealthy foods.

Especially at family gatherings, food is very often an key part of the festivities. Birthday parties, holidays, and social functions are typically oriented around a meal, a round of drinks, or a slice of cake. Remember that TLS isn’t about never letting yourself indulge, but you may be giving in more often than you’d like.  Saying “No thanks, I think I’ll pass” may be very hard when facing a parent, relative, or a friend because they’re only trying to be hospitable and nice.

However, don’t let a little guilt completely upstage your goals.

Don’t fight over that last nacho. If you cave and simply must indulge, take a small plate and put a few on your plate, and no more. This way, you aren’t offending anyone, and you also get to manage your portion size.

Indulge On Your Terms:

Remember that TLS isn’t about never indulging here or there, but you may be giving in more often than you’d like. When you do indulge, it should be on your terms. Just remember, sometimes it is better to just say no.

Eating Food Isn’t An Obligation:

Don’t let your friends and family guilt trip you. “Don’t you like my cooking?”  or “C’mon, I can’t eat this by myself!” are common justifications, but you aren’t obligated to eat anything you don’t want to.

Stick To Your Guns:

Gentlemen, you may have a harder time eating well around friends because not sharing a pint and a heaping order of chili-cheese fries may get you teased. Man up- and just remind yourself that beer bellies are indeed masculine, but not in that good way.

Communicate Your Goals To Your Friends and Family:

If you are making good progress with your new lifestyle, let the people in your life know. “I’ve already lost ___lbs, I really don’t want to ruin my momentum. I just feel so much better than I used to.” The people in your life will most likely be supportive if they know how important your goals are to you.They may even be willing to help hold you to your word.

Bring Your Own Snacks or Dishes to Share

Especially when visiting, bringing some dishes of your own to share or letting your host know what you can eat may give you a little room to compromise and be social, too.

When do you feel the most tempted to share food?