Part 5: Who Do You Eat With?

Posted by on Feb 8, 2013 in Food, Health and Lifestyle, Increasing Energy | 0 comments

Part 5:  Who Do You Eat With?

Who do you eat with, and what dietary and health goals do they have? This question doesn’t often come up when people are making changes to their eating habits, but maybe it should.

Who you eat with, and what they eat can affect the way that you eat and support your own digestion. Friends, family, and significant others can be, but aren’t necessarily always a supportive influence when it comes to an individual making health changes, especially ones related to eating and diet.

There can be a mentality of, why do you have to change that habit? Maybe the old habit seems like a more communal and social habit for your group (like happy hour with beer and bar food after work) and it seems strange or weird that you would want to try a different way. Maybe the people you eat with feel like they want to change their eating habits too but are scared to, and for that reason they’re discouraging you from going for it.

On the other hand, you can’t always eat alone or wouldn’t even want to. Sharing meals is fun and can offer benefits to healthy eating too. It’s just a matter of finding a balance between the socializing aspect of food (and the food pressure that can come with it) and your own health goals.

What can you do? You may not necessarily want to see changes in eating habits of the people around you. But you don’t want to see your efforts ridiculed either. One approach is to be realistic about the dietary changes you want to make. Would they go too far in the direction of estranging you from shared meals completely? If so, the changes could be too extreme.

Another habit you could try is allowing yourself a splurge time, where it’s okay to bend your dietary goals a bit to hang out and enjoy the social aspect of food. When you’re not doing that, you can stick to your health goal and it all balances out in the end.

There is a possibility that you are eating around someone who has wanted to make the same health changes as you, and in that case maybe you can lead by example. People don’t always know it, but changes can subliminally catch on to the healthy changes you’re making or even ask if they can join you in your efforts. Then you have a buddy and you two can encourage each other to reach for what you want.

There is no need to make dietary changes so strict that you can’t eat around other people, or to give up on health efforts for the sake of social eating. Staying creative about the health changes you make, using moderation, and paying attention to what you want will get you the best results no matter what your health goal. So before you decide to swear off of potato skins or chocolate for life, think twice and see if there’s a better way to mix food and people in your world and still be healthy.



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