6 ways to eat healthy when you’re with friends

The last few months have been going well. You’ve connected with foods that bring you joy. Foods that nourish you, bring you lasting energy and are pleasurable to eat. You’ve even started exercising. Moving your body in a way that feels fantastic, leaving you energised + buzzing.

But now it’s time to go out with friends.

This Friday night they want to go out for pizza. They’re throwing a boozy party. It’s movie night with the girls (complete with ice-cream and chocolate). The boys are hanging out with beer + chips.

Sound familiar?

How do you cope with friends who don’t eat like you do? Or even with friends who make fun of you for eating healthy?

It’s so easy to get caught up with your mates and go along with the crowd. We all do it, but sometimes we wish we didn’t. So to avoid any pangs of regret here are 6 tips to help you eat healthy with friends.

1. This is your choice
When I remember that I prefer to eat healthy, it takes away any feelings of unfairness. I’m more likely to choose an option that I know I’ll like and that will make me feel good after I eat it. There’s no heavy sense of duty or obligation (which usually leads to rebellion anyway). Choice is a much more expansive option.

2. Future trip
Before you go out. Before you make a choice from the menu. Before you arrive at the party. Remind yourself of the foods that bring you joy. Imagine how you want to feel at the end of your meal. What can you eat that will still feel good after you’ve finished? Choose that.

3. Eat mindfully
Choose from these 21 tips…

4. Maintain healthy boundaries
Knowing who you are and trusting your judgment keeps you grounded in your power. This helps immensely when other people are making different choices. If someone offers you food that you know you don’t want, keep a firm boundary. A simple and gentle “no thanks” is usually all you need.

5. Take the pressure down with humour
Sometimes people feel really insecure if someone is acting differently. Sometimes people feel judged (even when you don’t) if you choose a healthy option over junk. You don’t need to own their shit, only yours. If one of your friends ignored your “no thanks” and is ramping up the pressure to conform, use a joke about yourself to break the tension. Something along the lines of “It’s cool, I prefer rabbit food”. Self deprecating humour works because you’re not judging, criticising or ridiculing anyone - so you won’t start a fight - plus it shows you’re comfortable enough with your choices to let it slide.

6. Let your hair down and enjoy yourself
If you’re an obsessive type (*my hand shot straight up*) sometimes you get a liiiiiiitle uptight about counting calories and weight loss. Sometimes just going with the flow, enjoying the moment, and cutting loose with friends can be extremely liberating. If you choose this option, choose it because you want to and then enjoy the crap out of it. No regrets.

Have you ever felt junk food peer pressure? How did you cope? Do you ever feel like eating healthy is an unfair bore, or is it just me?

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