Healthy Living

Conquering Summer Diet Sabotage


It’s always exciting to get together with friends and family whether it’s going out for a night of fun, getting together for a barbecue (happy, almost, Fourth of July!) or having a movie night.

Unfortunately many of our favorite, fun events seem to revolve around food. Even worse is when friends and family pressure us into indulging.

I tell a story in my book Think: Use Your Mind to Shrink Your Waistline about a time we took some friends out to dinner. When it came time for dessert the husband of the other couple pressured his wife into eating dessert when she had clearly expressed her desire to eat healthy because she was watching her weight.

In these situations peer pressure can occur for many reasons but it usually ends up hurting only you and your goals. Last week I talked about conquering diet sabotage at work, so today I want to talk about some typical “play time” sabotage scenarios and how to avoid them.

Danger 1: The Food-Centric Outing

Two young couples eating outdoors

It’s great to have friends you can go out and have fun with, but our social lives have become more and more food-centered. If your friends tend to want to gather for cocktails and dinner, either as the event or before moving on to something else, there are a few things you can do.

Do This: Let your friends know you’re trying to resist temptation and that you’ll skip the restaurant or bar and meet them at the concert, play or bowling alley. Or, see if you can get your friends to come over for a healthy barbecue or quick dinner instead of going out. If all else fails, have a healthy meal before you go out to make it easier to resist the no-no’s on the menu.

Danger 2: The Party

Young people drinking shots at outside bar night out

Whether it’s a dinner party or a cocktail buffet, joining your friends or business contacts is often a sabotaging but unavoidable necessity. The best thing you can do to avoid trashing your diet is to not be hungry when you get there.

Do This: Have a filling, healthy meal or an IdealShake no more than half an hour before you leave for the party. It will also help you to have something delicious but healthy waiting for you at home, and to focus on moving around and talking to people, rather than sitting or standing near the temptations.

Danger 3: The TV/Movie Night

Smiling young people in the cinema

We’ve talked about this in our post on The 4 Biggest Diet Breakers, but watching TV or a rental video can be a diet disaster. There is a strong relationship between eating and watching TV or a movie. Vegging out doesn’t usually involve vegetables.

Do This: There are a few solutions, though. Have plenty of tasty, healthy snacks on hand, like kale chips, nuts, fresh cut fruit, or hummus and veggies, to keep your snacking mechanism happy. You can also watch your show while walking on the treadmill or doing stretches on the floor rather than just sitting.

Barring these, just skip the TV. Read a book, play a game of ball with the kids or go to a free summer concert. There are plenty of ways to be entertained that don’t involve sitting ten feet from the fridge.

Removing the possibility for peer pressure is the an easy solution for avoiding sabotage. Even if your friends or family members aren’t actively pressuring you the temptation of someone else’s meal choice sitting right in front of you might just be too difficult to resist.

Enlisting your family and friends in your quest for a healthier lifestyle is definitely worth it in the end though!

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