Lose Weight Without Dieting Tip #11: Don’t Let Friends Get You off Course post image

Lose Weight Without Dieting Tip #11: Don’t Let Friends Get You off Course

Who hasn’t bonded with girlfriends over mounds of French fries and pints of ice cream? But it’s time to ask yourself if that “bond” (which inevitably leaves you feeling bloated and guilty later) is truly worth it.

Here are three key tips to dealing with friends and food:

Be OK with being different: Women have the tendency to want to please others — it’s in our DNA. We want to be part on the group, the inner-circle. (This is the only explanation as to why I tried the Atkins diet, Cabbage Soup Diet and existed on primarily pretzels and honey mustard at lunch in high school). Our actions reflect the need to be liked, but sadly, being healthy isn’t always popular.

Can you be OK with that? If you want to be healthy and happy you need to turn the focus back on you — not on what everyone else thinks — or what you assume they might be thinking. It’s just too exhausting. Be selfish and make decisions based on what makes you feel good and what will lead you to your goals.

It’s not you, it’s her: You realize that, right? When your best friend is in the mood to chow down on nachos and you opt for a salad, it inadvertently makes her feel bad about herself. Everyone wants a partner-in-crime when they’re “being bad,” whether it’s sharing a large popcorn and Twizzlers at the movies, or splitting a slice of cheesecake for dessert. I get that. Social eating is fun. It is fun to indulge, especially when you’re out of the habit of treating yourself on a weekly — or daily — basis. Just make sure you’re eating that second slice of pizza because you really want it — not because it might make your friend feel more comfortable.

Respond with confidence: As soon as you start making healthier lifestyle choices, your friends will take notice, and they might not like it. Change is hard. Going from the “yes girl” — Chicken wings? Sure! An extra scoop of ice cream, why not?! — to the “no girl” is quite a shift. Your friends may start making you feel bad about your choices, and as we know, it’s not because they wish you any ill will. It’s just…uncomfortable.

My advice is to say as little as possible. If a pal questions your food choice, just respond with a short, “Yeah, it’s what I was in the mood for.” Or, “You know what, I’m really not that hungry right now.” Do not feel the need to explain yourself because it will only make you look unsure about your decision. And you never know, when your friends see that you’re happier and more confident, they just might follow your lead!

Tell me: Do you struggle with peer pressure when it comes to food? Is it difficult to eat healthy among your group of friends?

Ellen Collis is a blogger at Wannabe Health Nut and Health Coach in NYC, who graduated from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. Email her at wannabehealthnut1@gmail.com for a free health consultation to discuss how she can assist you with your nutrition and lifestyle goals. She would love nothing more than to help you have more energy, feel fabulous in your own skin and live a healthy life that doesn’t require giving up your favorite foods.

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Ellen @ Wannabe Health Nut

Hey Angelina! I agree…it IS hard to make healthy choices when you are socializing with friends or spending time with family. As you said, you just want to spend time with your friends. Well, why don’t you suggest a healthy activity the next time you want to catch up ? It could be a pizza making party (don’t forget the veggie toppings!), going on a walk or trying out a new fitness class and grabbing a smoothie afterward. These are all things I did in my high school and college years and still do now in my adult life. Trust me, everyone is always happier when they make the healthier choice, even if it doesn’t seem so “exciting” at first. This doesn’t mean you can’t indulge sometimes and go out for ice cream, but try to make it a “sometimes treat” not a regular habit. You’ll enjoy it even more if you do.

Also, try not to worry so much about what OTHER people think of your habits. Doing things to please others that make YOU unhappy in return really doesn’t do anyone any good. Living a healthier lifestyle might be weird for some friends or family members to get used to, but when they see a happier and healthier you, they will take notice and eventually make the shift with you. Who knows, you could be inspiration for them, too?!

Reply January 18, 2013, 4:30 pm


I do succumb to peer pressure about food, it is probably my greatest weakness of all! It is soo flipping hard to say no to people because I don’t want to be a party pooper. With my family its the worst because they’ll always make some elaborate meal or encourage you to eat what seems like ALL THE TIME. Haha. As for my friends, it’s more like the easiest excuse to go hang out is to go get food together and its much more fun to say lets go get frozen yogurt and go to a fun place for dinner but really I just end up eating too much, and it was my idea! Really, I just wanted to spend time with them.
This is definitely the hardest thing for me to get through when trying to lose weight.

Reply January 17, 2013, 1:49 pm

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