There are many reasons why we can choose to give up on a diet, the persuasion of friends is one of these reasons. Hearing ‘you’re doing so well, one won’t hurt’ may soften the blow of breaking your diet at that moment in time, but won’t make you feel less guilty later, or less frustrated that you didn’t just say no. Sound familiar? Why is it that our friends and family tempt us to break our diets and how can we stop them.
1. Skinny friends with big appetites
Yep, it’s the age old annoyance of that one friend who maintains a trim figure whilst seemingly being able to eat whatever they fancy. Aside from not being fair, your friend’s eating pattern may not be what it seems. Just because the last time you ate out with them they ordered a calorific meal, doesn’t mean that they eat this way for every meal. For all you know they could’ve eaten a small green salad for every other meal they had that week, so don’t let their unhealthy choice influence yours and put you on a destructive path.
Psychologists refer to the ‘social facilitation of eating’ where we are more likely to make poor food choices if we see a smaller person eating an unhealthy meal, compared to an obese person eating the same thing. Just being aware of this can be a good method of prevention.
2. Your partner fills the cupboards with junk food
We are more likely to have similar eating patterns to that of our spouse than any other family member or friend. To add insult to injury, married couples are more likely to enjoy sharing alcohol and snacks rather than fruit and vegetables. If your partner is insisting on buying unhealthy foods, try and separate them from yours so that you’re not faced with a choice when you open the cupboard, and perhaps ask them to narrow down their selection of treats so that the majority of food in your house is healthy.
In any case it is good to encourage your partner to adopt a healthier diet if they are eating lots of junk food, dieting together can help you stay motivated.
3. Friends give you hassle for being on a diet
First of all it’s not acceptable for friends to complain about the healthy changes you are making to your life, however many still do, getting annoyed when you don’t want to go out for food or drinks and shooting you down each time you want to enthuse about your diet and weight loss. This can be partly due to jealously but also because they feel like you are changing and therefore they are worried your friendship may change. The reason for their hostility towards your changed eating plans could even be because they are fearful you will judge for not doing the same.
To solve this first you have to be straight; you are doing something to benefit your health and they should support you or even join you. Secondly, why not suggest other things you can do to spend time together that don’t involve eating?
4. People who take offense when you don’t eat their home cooking
A dinner party or a visit home can be a tough event if your hosts get offended when your decline their hearty home cooking. This can be due to generational differences or because cooking for someone can be a way of showing love. Either way don’t feel guilty about sticking to your guns, explain that you are on a diet to improve your health, suggest cooking a healthy recipe together, or eat a small portion of the food they’ve cooked making an effort to say how much you are enjoying it.
5. Are you sabotaging your own diet?
Are you the person talking yourself out of your own diet? We can make up endless excuses of why we can’t stick to a diet and a lot of the time the easier option is to listen to the devil on our shoulder and revert back to comfort eating rather than tackling our eating issues head on.
If you think you need some extra help changing your mindset to get onside with your weight loss goals then cognitive coaching could be a great option for you. Our coaches help you to change the way you think about food so that you are able to lose weight and keep it off long-term.