1. Cover Your Own Dietary Needs: If you’re going to someone else’s house for a social gathering, bring something with you that you can eat and bring extra to share it with others. This is one great way to introduce people to some new food ideas. I love to bring simple, yet creative dishes that involve local, organic fruit like banana-layered jackfruit custard.
2. Focus on Common Ground: Focus on what you can share with others not on what you can’t have. Remember: you can have whatever you want. Choosing not to eat something is a choice you are making to align with your highest vision of yourself. Share with others the healthy dish you brought with you as a way to connect.
3 Reframe Your Perspective: If you view yourself as ‘not being allowed’ to eat something, you are setting yourself up for self-retaliation and potential relapse on your diet and core values. Look at what your intentions are. Are you coming from a place of self-deprivation or a place of supreme self-love, kindness and compassion? Your mindset and attitude will help determine how successfully you will be able to navigate social situations.
4. Focus On Your Relationships, Not the Food: This is a highly effective strategy to help get your attention off food (and what you think you should or shouldn’t eat, whether you’re being ‘good’ or ‘bad’ and how guilty you feel for falling off the wagon). Instead focus on why you are gathering with your friends and family – to spend time with them. Sometimes if we are so wrapped up in our own minds, preoccupied with thoughts of food, weight and self-image we don’t have the capacity to even be present for those we love who are right in front of us.
5. Tap Into Your Inner Strength: Are you really that worried about what other people think about you if you don’t eat the same way they do? Is that more important than achieving your health-related goals and feeling amazing in your body, mind and spirit? The topic of food related belief systems (BS) can be as touchy as talking about politics or religion at the dinner table. There’s no need to dive into any of it or push your views on anyone.
6. Use Your Nutritionist As An Excuse: If you’re not quite feeling empowered to let people know why you’re eating the way that you do, use your doctor or nutritionist as an excuse. You can say something like, “I’m working with a nutritionist and working towards being in the best health of my life, so I’ve decided to eat the healthiest foods possible. If you would like to contact her, I can give you her number.” You are not obliged to let people know why you’re choosing to eat the way that you do.
7. Change The Subject: Sharing information is great, but if you feel like people are approaching you in a less than friendly way, (“But where do you get your protein – that can’t be a healthy way to eat”) questioning your food choices, let it slide and change the subject. There’s no need to get defensive. This may sound like common sense, but you’d be amazed at how many people tend to get overly defensive and argumentative about different food philosophies – you may even recognize that tendency in yourself. Try taking a no big deal kind of attitude, even try to laugh it off and change the subject… “Have you seen the surf this morning, the waves were huge!”
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