Here are three steps toward building positive weight management habits while you enjoy time out with your friends.
Step 1 - Plan Ahead
The first step can be one of the trickiest, because we don't always know when we're going to be going out. Some of our most memorable experiences are when we impulsively decide to drive to the next state for a concert or visit an old college roommate. However, none of this means that you can't plan ahead, it just means you have to do so a bit earlier. Whether you know when you're next going out or not, sit down and come up with a plan today.
Write out a list of the reasons you started a weight loss regime, and the reasons you've stuck it out this long. This will help remind you of what you've accomplished and what you're working toward at the same time. With the goal back in mind, decide how much you're going to eat. Are you going to stick to your usual portions, or will you splurge just a little? It is ok to splurge as long as it's a planned, one time event to be shared with your friends, and not something you will give up your diet over.
Step 2 - Use Your Habits
Once you're at the restaurant and the food is ordered and brought to the table, you still have techniques you can use to make good on your commitment to following your plan. Cut the food with your non-dominant hand to slow yourself down, and remember to put the fork down between bites. You'll get to enjoy the food longer, have more opportunities to talk with your friends, and work up to the feeling of being comfortably full.
Step 3 - Enjoy Yourself
Remember that the plan is not to make yourself feel miserable. Instead we're building habits that make us feel empowered and capable of controlling our diet for our own health and goals. Part of those goals should be the right to be happy and to have fun with our friends.
So the meal has come, you've eaten what you intended to and put aside the extra. Congratulate yourself! You took a situation that might have held you up before and made it work for you. Not only did you stick to your plan and use the habits you've been cultivating, you had a good time out with your friends, and that's definitely worth the effort of a little extra planning.
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