10 Ways to Socialize Without Food

By , SparkPeople Blogger
If you’re someone who likes to go out frequently with family and friends, you know that most outings revolve around food.  It’s easy to say “Hey, let’s meet for lunch!” or “Want to join me for a few drinks after work?”  Whether you’ve just started making improvements to your diet or you’ve stuck to a healthy eating plan for years, you know how tempting these situations can become.  Your friend orders a plate of French fries and you start munching on them without even realizing, or your mom asks if you want to split a dessert you weren’t planning on ordering.  In most cases, it’s best not to avoid these events completely.  Avoidance can help you stick to your plan, but it’s not a long-term solution.  Eventually you’re going to be in situations where food is involved, so you have to learn how to deal with temptations.  This helps change your new habits into permanent lifestyle changes, instead of a “diet” that you are on and off periodically. 
Although it’s certainly possible to stay on track with your diet in social situations, sometimes it’s nice to have alternatives that don’t revolve around food.  If it’s your turn to make the plans, choose something fun and different!  You might find that one of the activities below sparks a new way to socialize with those you love. 
  1. Train for a 5K.  If you’ve always wanted to walk or jog a race, doing it with one (or more) buddies makes it much more fun!  It’s a great excuse to meet a few times a week and chat along the way.  
  2. Go to a movie.  Although the popcorn is tempting, eat before you go and bypass the concession stand as you head into the theater.  Once you’re in your seat, it becomes a hassle to get up again and interrupt the show for snacks.
  3.  Have a spa day.  Manicures and pedicures are lots of fun with a friend.  If you don’t have the extra money to spend at a pricey salon, you can do your own spa day at home!  Manicures, pedicures, skin treatments- all can be done on your own with minimal expense.
  4. Tackle a home improvement project.  Do you have projects that have been on your to-do list for a while?  These could be simple things you just haven’t had the time for, or bigger projects that need extra help.  Gather a group of family and friends to help, and in return, you can lend a hand to work on their to-do list! 
  5. Go for a hike or walk at a local park.  Who can’t use some extra fresh air and sunshine?  Weather permitting, it’s a great way to explore nature and have fun together at the same time.
  6. Try pottery or wine glass painting.  Lots of local art studios offer monthly painting sessions you can do with groups of any size.  At the end of the night, you’ve got a nice piece of artwork to take home as a memory of the evening. 
  7. Join a book club.  Many people have monthly book clubs that meet in their homes (with lots of snacks and drinks!)  Consider joining (or starting) a club at your local library or community center- somewhere that doesn’t involve food. 
  8. Go window shopping.  Shopping puts your pedometer to work with lots of walking.  Even if you don’t have the extra funds, you can still browse store windows to get ideas and spend time together.   
  9. Ride a bike.  Lots of cities have cycling clubs, but if you’re looking for something more casual, find a group of friends to join you on a weekly ride around town.  Explore new areas of the city while being active at the same time! 
  10. Try a new class at the gym.  Classes can be intimidating the first time you attend, so ask a group to join you.  It’s fun to try new things together, and many gyms offer an introductory class for free.
With a little creativity and sense of adventure, the possibilities are endless.  Bonding time doesn’t have to mean blowing your calorie budget.  Talk to those you love about the changes you’re making and how they can be supportive in those efforts. You might find they are more willing than you expected to try something new! 

Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints
See more: motivation tips food


NANABFITZ 11/30/2020
thank you for sharing Report
FISHGUT3 10/14/2020
thanks Report
1CRAZYDOG 7/19/2020
I think having a strategy to deal with social situations is a must. Plan your food. Just cuz you're with others who decide to eat doesn't mean YOU have to. I've gotten together to work out with friends @ the gym then spur of the moment decision is made to grab a bite. That's life. You can make the best choice possible, just have water or whatever your beverage of choice may be and eat later, whatever works for YOU. Report
You can eat on every one of those ideas, if you want to. You have to want to socialize without food for it to happen. Report
CECELW 3/2/2020
pretty good helpful tips Report
Nice ideas to avoid over-indulging. Thank you!! Report
LOSER05 12/10/2019
thanks Report
Thanks Report
Great. Report
thanks Report
Thank you Report
Good ideas. Thanks! Report
thanks Report
thanks Report
Great ideas!
I made my weekend visits at my mom and dad into "socializing without food": I told them I just want to chat and enjoy their company, and I don't want food. I'm glad I did : ) Report
Volunteer, join church functions, take a swim class,,,, Report
Thanks Report
Thanks for sharing. Report
thank you Report
I only socialize with people when I have to. Report
thanks Report
how often are y'all going out "socializing" that this is even an issue, really? Once a month or once every couple of weeks isn't going to make you pack back on every pound you've lost or anything. go out and enjoy yourself once in a while, jeez! Report
Wonderful ideas! Report
Good ideas Report
Great ideas!!! Report
I do craft groups, there is no food allowed around doing crafts, could mess up the whole project. Report
Thank you! However I think that everything turns into food. My bookclub has all meetings at restaurants now. Report
Good need-to-know information! Report
Good ideas to have activities that are not food related! Report
great ideas, you don't always have to eat when out with family and friends. Report
Great ideas! Thank you Report
Going to the gun range is good as well. Report
great ideas to stay healthy Report
Hiking is great with a friend. Report
Walking with a friend or 2... Recently went rock wall climbing! Mani-pedi is fun. Three of us did salt cave recently. Report
"Tackle a home improvement project." Asking one of your friends to come over to retile your bathroom sounds like a great way to lose friends lol Report
We meet on the beach once a week. Although we bring food, there's always good options. My friends were ketogenic last year so it was easy. I have succeeded to train myself not to eat the 'bad' things they now bring. . . Report
I am a musician and grew up in a home where playing and singing music was always encouraged. I meet with friends to play guitar, sing and visit once a week. You can't sing with your mouth full, or eat when your hands are holding a guitar, fiddle, or piano keys! And research shows playing an instrument does amazing things for your brain! Learn one new song a week and have fun! Report
Geocaching is our favourite outdoor activity that we enjoy. If we go out for the I pack a picnic of soup, an orange and a small cookie. Report
I like to go for a walk with a friend. Sometimes if a long bike ride with friends ends up with a stop at a Mexican restaurant, I just get a diet coke. That way I'm "consuming" but don't have to actually eat anything. Though diet coke isn't always the answer, it helps on these occasional unplanned situations. Report
To socialize without food I go to a water aerobics class three times a week with a couple of friends. There are 4 of us that go which makes car pooling easy to set up. Report