WE ALL LOVE GOOD FOOD WITH GOOD FRIENDS
That meal out, that trip to the cinema, the glass or two of wine after work at the end of the week. The latte and breakfast meet up with a family member or partner on the weekend.
But can you do all this and still be successful with your physique goals?
Like most things in health, fitness and nutrition, ‘it depends.’
How often you increase your calories, go off plan with food choices and skip the meals you should be eating for ones you know aren’t exactly a good fit for your goals depend on two things….
- What your goals are? – how specific they are and the time line you have for them
- What condition are you in now? – health, body fat and physical & mental performance
For the most of us, we can still enjoy meals out and the odd treat without derailing our results or feeling guilty immediately after, as long as there is a degree of portion and frequency control.
So let’s ascertain what you want before we can decide the best answer for you.
THE ‘SERIOUS’ CONTINUUM
So ask yourself, what condition am I currently in and how serious about my goals am I?
Once you have ascertained your condition and where you want to go with your training and diet you can make a decision on how serious you want to be and how consistent that needs to be. Sustainability and consistency are key.
Here’s 5 tips to enjoy a social life and still get what you want
One method would be to look at your week rather than just hitting your calories for each day. Add up your daily calorie target for the week to give you a seven day total then wave your calories up and down, higher on social days and lower on ‘normal days’
A nice solution if you have a busy social calendar, seeing friends or entertaining clients is to ‘calorie bank.’ Banking up calories throughout the wink
Do things in blocks
Although you may not be an athlete who needs to have blocks of training meticulously planned. It would be worth doing things in “consistency blocks.”
For example what I do with a lot of my clients is a 3-4 week training plan with an agreement that the diet is adhered to for this time as well.
4 weeks of training and dieting then they can plan a social event like a nice meal out with friends. With this break in training planned they can really focus in on consistently eating well and training hard and the results will speak for themselves. Having a break planned is also great mentally as no one wants to ‘diet’ year round.
Look at menus ahead of time, you can find EVERYTHING on the internet.
If the restaurant doesn’t have a web page displaying their menus then search social media. I guarantee someone will have taken a picture of the menu and posted it on Instagram or Facebook at some point and you can plan what you’re going to eat ahead of time.
Nearly every restaurant will have a good quality piece of meat with some vegetables or a good quality vegetarian option if that’s your thing. You can then factor this into your daily eating.
Steer the social ship
People can be so indecisive. But not you!
If you are serious about results and want to command your own destiny then you have to take it by the reigns. The fact that most people are indecisive can be a bonus for you as it can fall to you to make the restaurant or event suggestion and booking.
Your friend – “hey fancy meeting up for dinner”
You – “yes I would love to, let’s go to that new Mediterranean restaurant in the high street, they do a really tasty chicken shish”
Your friend – “oh yummy, great!”
Now you’re a good friend and could never be labelled as boring. You might even take on the new label as; focused, driven or decisive.
Don’t bow to peer-pressure
Using strong sentences instead of ones which leave you open to persuasion are a way of avoiding bowing to peer pressure, breaking your diet, feeling guilty and actually setting yourself in higher regard amongst your friends.
Note these two examples:
Your friends – “go on have a slice (of pizza)”
You – “I can’t, I’m not allowed”
Your friends – “oh go on, don’t be boring”
You – “ok, just one” (no one stops at one)
As you can see this kind of language leaves you open to persuasion.
Your friends – “go on have a slice (of pizza)”
You – “No I don’t eat pizza”
Or – “no I’m focusing on my training and diet at the moment but you go ahead”
Your friends – “oh ok”
I guarantee the conversation will immediately change to your friends saying “I wish I was that strong minded” and the only awkward silence or uncomfortable feeling will be in your mind only.
Just move on and enjoy your company.
Set your own trend
Be strong enough to be the person with the mineral water at the bar or the chicken salad at the restaurant. Sometimes it takes that one person to make a healthy choice in a social setting for it to be ‘ok’ for everyone to follow suit.
Believe it or not people want to be healthy but it can sometimes not be ‘cool or trendy.’ If they don’t want to be healthy I would seriously ask you to question if you’re in the right social circle for you.
Hopefully you’re seeing a pattern with these tips
It all depends on how strong minded you are and how strong your choices are based on how important your goals are to you.
Whether you need a quick pep talk or a new friendship group, your choices are 100% your own so make ones that are going to take you one step towards your goals. If you read this whole article all the way to the end I guarantee you have some.
Decide to be strong minded, consistent and enjoy your results.