How to exercise balance in social eating situations


Have you ever felt that it is difficult to maintain the balance you want in social eating situations?

Food is a huge part of our social lives, our cultures, our traditions, and our celebrations.

But you may also feel overwhelmed or frustrated to get past these situations when you learn how to find the right balance between delicious foods and pleasure.

If you always feel as though you’re “going off track” by making choices that aren’t in line with the balance you feel for you, you might get really frustrated and bring up some negative thoughts about yourself, which isn’t what we want you to experience.

Read on to discover how you can feel more at peace with food in social eating situations.

Why it seems so hard to maintain balance in social eating situations

There are a few common reasons why social eating is more difficult to navigate, and being aware of them will support you in learning how to feel more comfortable with food in social situations.

1. The environment is different from your usual routine

When you’re in social situations, whether it’s at a friend’s house for a girl’s night out, a family barbecue, or a wedding, the physical environment is set up quite differently than your space at home and that can have a huge impact on your food choices without you even realizing. that.

For example, in many of these situations, there is often food offered for grazing, such as bowls of chips or a charcuterie board. It may simply cause you to crave certain foods that you wouldn’t normally say are the most satisfying for you.

In addition, you are also engaging and interacting with more people in these situations, while you may be alone at home, with your partner, or with your family.

When you are at a social event, there are often many people you talk to and different activities may take place. This can make it more difficult for you to remember to check your levels of hunger and fullness or to really try what you’re eating.

2. You have no control over food choices

One of the most common reasons why many people feel social situations are difficult to navigate is that they have no control over what food will be there.

Between not knowing what to offer, seeing so many fun foods they want, and a lack of nutrition options, it’s easy to get frustrated and it’s impossible to maintain a balance.

3. Peer pressure

You have likely encountered this before.

You choose what you want to eat or not eat on a particular day and someone comments on that.

“You eat a salad, plain, live a little.”

Or maybe, “You’re going to eat that sugary cookie? I’m keto and I’ll never eat that.”

Peer pressure is very common at social events and we hear from many clients who feel the need to eat like others or feel pressure from family and friends commenting on what they eat or not eat. Unfortunately, you will likely encounter this at some point in your journey.

6 social eating tips for finding the right balance

Fortunately, we’re here to help!

Navigating social eating doesn’t have to be as difficult as you may currently feel. With a few simple tips on social eating that you can keep in mind, you’ll feel it’s easier for you to exercise balance with your food choices.

1. Set a clear intent

In addition to being alert, you can also create a clear intent for what you would like to experience at your event or gathering.

Are you there to catch up with old friends you haven’t seen in a while? To celebrate the wedding of two members of your family? To enjoy delicious food at your favorite restaurant?

Or maybe you want to be able to enjoy food at an event without restrictions or guilt so you can focus on socializing and not get caught up in food rules?

These are all intentions where physical nutrition is not the primary priority – and that’s okay! Sometimes having fun is the priority instead. If so, allow yourself to vigilantly enjoy the atmosphere and what you are there to experience, rather than focusing on food rules or “what should” you can think of.

When you’re not at the social event and back into your routine, nutrition can become a bigger priority again. This is the balance we teach within the method that allows you to transition between nourishment and pleasure through many stages of your life.

2. Build balanced meals and snacks

One of the easiest ways to maintain balance in social eating situations is to remember the foundations of balanced eating habits. One of the basic practices we teach our customers about is how to prepare a balanced meal or snack.

This allows them to get the food they need while also enjoying the foods they love, no matter where they are!

We do this using our Foundation Five system, and if you are not familiar with this system yet, you can Download our free balanced eating guide That defines exactly what to include on your plate for balance.

Keeping this simple regime in mind during social events will make it less stressful for you. You will be able to look at any buffet, charcuterie board or snack table and you will easily be able to visualize what you can add to your plate to create a balanced meal.

Will your meals from the buffet look like the ones you make at home, maybe not, but then again – that’s okay!

The Fifth Foundational Framework gives you the guidance you need to know that you are doing your best in any given situation, so you can approach any social situation with confidence.

3. Bring a nutritious cucumber to share

However, knowing that most social situations have a lot of fun foods but tend to lack nutritious ones, is there something you can bring to share that is nutritious and fun?

This can be delicious Broccoli salad with ranch dressing For a summer barbecue, Vegetable green bean casserole for a holiday party, or a homemade dip For a balanced snack on a girl’s night out or her birthday party.

4. Be vigilant

It can be easy to get caught up in the moment at social events, especially with that change in environment and peer pressure we just talked about.

One strategy we share with members of the Mindful Nutrition Method™ to help them address this is to be mindful in social situations.

Exactly what do we mean by vigilance? Well, let’s say your aunt insists on eating her cake, or maybe she’s walking past a dessert table with all kinds of sweets and sweets. And let’s say you don’t really like brownies, or desserts aren’t really your thing, but in the past, you almost always got a handful of something from the dessert table because it was simply there, or say yes brownies just because she insisted.

Does this sound familiar to anyone? These are examples of mindless eating, which is a major factor in the lack of balance you have felt in social situations in the past.

This time, bring on mindfulness. If you know brownies aren’t jam for you, check in with yourself. Do you really want cake? If not, simply say no, thank you. If you know you’re more of a tasty person than a sweet one, keep walking by that table and spend your time somewhere else where it’s truly enjoyable for you.

Being mindful in these moments can help you make decisions that feel really good and right for you, which will help you prevent that feeling of stress, guilt, or fatigue that comes from unbalanced eating in social eating situations.

5. Practice balance on the day of your social event

Now there will also be situations when you cannot bring a nutritious cucumber, or you simply may not want to. For example, if you are going out to eat in a restaurant or to your parents’ house for your famous mother’s trifles.

In these situations, you can focus on practicing balance not only at the social event but also throughout the day. If you know you’re going to struggle with nutrients that are basically at the end of enjoying the balance spectrum, you can prioritize some nutrients at other points during the day.

Now we’re not talking about fasting today, or “making up” for enjoyable food afterwards, because we know these aren’t examples of balanced eating habits.

One day of eating will not make or break your balance or health.

We are simply talking about finding a balance between food and pleasure rather than giving in to all or nothing thinking.

If you are going out to a birthday dinner and know that the options are all fun foods, you can focus on eating Nutrient-dense juice And a bowl full of vegetables for lunch so your body gets what it needs to feel good.

But don’t let this cause stress – remember this isn’t black and white, it’s about thinking about the big picture. It’s about finding a general balance.

6. Get ready to push your limits

Peer pressure is very common at social events and we hear from many clients who feel the need to eat like others or feel pressure from family and friends commenting on what they eat or not eat. Unfortunately, you will likely encounter this at some point in your journey.

Keeping a few sentences in mind that you can use can be helpful in setting your boundaries and ending the conversation.

  • “This looks so delicious! I’m not in a good mood right now, but thank you for the show.”
  • “I’m really enjoying it [fill in the blank] Now, but maybe I’ll try some of that later.”
  • “Unfortunately, I don’t feel very well when I eat [fill in the blank]So I chose not to take it today.”
  • “I actually really like [fill in the bank] – I find it very satisfying. ”
  • “That’s actually what my body needs/wants right now, so I’m listening to that.”

Feeling more comfortable with social eating

As with anything, learning how to feel comfortable with food during social eating situations takes time and practice. You are not likely to feel confident overnight. Keep these tips in mind and think about how you feel after social events. To understand what you would like to repeat or do differently the next time, you will be able to slowly but surely change how you feel in these situations.

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