Wanna know THE hardest thing my clients face when it comes to their weight loss journeys? The dreaded process of navigating social events. We’re talkin’ the holidays, backyard BBQs, and the family cookout you plan every summer. The types of social events that you used to LOVE that are now a major stress point when it comes to your weight loss journey. And trust me, I GET IT. I’m a Type A, gotta-have-it-all-planned-out kind of person. Social events were really tough for me at the beginning of my macro tracking journey.
I used to be SO strict on myself that I would completely lose my shit if a social event meant I couldn’t be PERFECT with my macros. I was anxious, stressed out, and I started dreading going to things I LOVED to do. It got to the point I sometimes wouldn’t go at all. I took macro tracking and my weight loss journey from a place of empowerment to a place of oppression… and it SUCKED. Which is why I’m here to help you AVOID doing the same thing!
So in this blog I’m giving you three tangible tips to help you navigate social situations. I want you to feel EMPOWERED about your decisions rather than stressed AF.
If you’d rather watch/listen, catch my Instagram live on this very topic here.
If you want to read this… well, you’re in the right place!
First, Let’s Talk Flexibility
Before we dive into the three tips, I want to remind you that at the end of the day it’s SO much more effective to have a sub-optimal (aka NOT perfect) diet plan than it is to have one with NO flexibility. As a perfectionist, I know that’s horrible to hear. But, in reality, a plan that requires perfection ALL the time will not be sustainable. So as you’re going through this blog and thinking about that social event coming up, try to remember that it’s not about doing everything perfectly. It’s about having balance and sustainability in a way that works FOR YOU. With that said, let’s dive into the three tips!
Tip 1: Don’t Show up Hungry
While this might seem like a no-brainer, you would be shocked at how often people show up STARVING to an event. You know, the kind of hungry that has you slamming white claws and tortilla chips and before you know it fuck-it mode is fully activated. You start eating ALL the things until you’re Thanksgiving full and you can barely breathe anymore. When you’re navigating social events, this is a sure-fire way to set yourself up for failure. This will leave you frustrated and upset with yourself the next day (not to mention probably hungover… yikes).
So try to eat something beforehand that will help you feel GOOD when you get there. Not being completely starving will empower you to make mindful decisions throughout the event. You can listen to your hunger cues and enjoy the food you do eat.
Tip 2: Offer to Bring Something
One of the best ways to ease your mind about what kinds of foods will be at the event is to bring something. I am the self-appointed Queen Veggie Tray in my friend group! Even though everybody makes fun of me, it is always the first thing gone. If you’re stressing about not having any control over the food that will be there, offer to bring a fruit salad, some lean protein, or even some veggie kebabs to throw on the grill… Whatever will help you feel at ease and will empower you to make choices you’re happy with!
Side bar: if it’s not a situation where you feel comfortable offering to bring something, that’s okay! In that case, try to go with the mindset that you can’t control everything, but also that you won’t let that fact completely stress you out. You can also bring your own personal snacks! Throw a high protein bar and some carrots in your purse, and bring a FULL water bottle so you’re staying hydrated.
Tip 3: Don’t Eat Out of the Damn Serving Bowl
Are you a snacker? If so, you’re in good company… but don’t have a conversation right next to the bowl of tortilla chips (speaking from experience, this will NOT go well). Make yourself a plate and LEAVE the serving area so you’re not mindlessly eating while having a chat. It’s when this grazing starts that you can slam an entire meal before you’ve even made yourself a plate, so do yourself a favor and remove yourself from that situation.
At the end of the day, when you’re navigating social events, it’s important to remember that you have a choice. If you want to be a bit more strict on your nutrition and hydration and you really don’t want to be lax on your goals… make sure you’re realistic and set yourself up in a way that you can actually stick to this decision. If you want to loosen up a bit and enjoy some of the foods you might normally avoid, that’s okay too!! Whatever choice you make, own it, enjoy it, and move the hell on. This does NOT have to be an end-of-the-world type of decision. Have fun and remember that perfection doesn’t exist… Your weight loss journey SHOULD be a continuum of making decisions that stick to your fitness goals, and ones that allow you to relax and let your hair down.
If you’re still stressing out about this decision, check out this blog I wrote on How to Balance Having a LIFE When You’re Macro Tracking to Lose Weight. In this blog I dive a little more into the ins and outs of making the decision to track or not to track. It may help you as you prepare for your next social event!