Studies show that who you dine out with has a dramatic impact on what you order and how much you eat. We as humans, copy those arounds us, even to the point of pacing our eating to match those we are with. Latest research’s shows that people’s food choices are clearly linked to their social identity, so you are more likely to eat more if the people around you are.
Food peer pressure can be overwhelming when you are trying to take control of your health. Remember everyone has opinion. But it is only your opinion that counts when it comes to what you should eat.
“Live a little”, “Just one more drink” “Go on, have a dessert with me” “You are not just having a salad, are you?”
Any of these sounds familiar?
Most times people pressure you out of love, they want to share the food and experience with you. If you order a salad, and they order a burger, 9 out of 10 times, they will be battling with their own insecurities. No one wants to feel like the greedy one.
Mindful eating is the opposite of peer pressure.
You use internal cues instead of external cues to make your decisions.
Set your intentions before your social event.
1. Decide how much you want to eat and drink ahead of time. How do you want to feel tomorrow? How hungry are you?
2. Follow through on your decisions, and don’t apologise for not having that extra glass of wine or that dessert (if that is what you have decided)
3. Focus on mindfully eating. How does it smell, taste, and feel in your mouth? You will feel more satisfied and in control when you focus on what you are eating and not what others are doing.
Be confident with your choices.
Before going to restaurant, look at the menu and decide what YOU want to eat, without the influence of anyone else. When you get to the restaurant, order first. Be confident and set the tone for the evening. People are less likely to make comments, if you are confident and asserted with your choices.
Don’t apologise or look sheepish when ordering a healthy dish. This is NOT a diet. This is NOT restriction. It is taking care of your body, and when you get excited about plants and ordering healthy meals, others will follow. You don’t have to eat a burger to feel satisfied, a delicious salad or fish can do the same.
If you are going around to someone’s house for a meal or a BBQ, then why not offer to bring a delicious vibrant salad that everyone can enjoy? That way you know you can eat lots (if there isn’t much else) and, hey you might actually surprise people how delicious plants can be.
Support Each Other
Taking control of your health is a lot easier if you have support from the people around you. Why not encourage and inspire friends to do it with you. Whether that is attending workout classes together, going for a walking date instead of a coffee date, switching the alcohol for a glass of tonic over ice, or supporting one another to eat more plants. Studies show that you are more likely to stick to new habits if you are doing it with others.
If you need 1:1 personalised support, please get in touch. I would love to hear from you.