The end of spring and the beginning of summer is a difficult season for many dieters. It can give many people excuses to eat things that they know is wrong for them. Summer can be just as challenging as the Christmas season; instead of Christmas or New Year's parties there are graduation parties, BBQ's, birthday parties, vacations, warm weather, cool beverages, and temptation. The fact of the matter is, consistently deviating from your diet is not just stalling your weight loss, it is sabotaging yourself and reverting back to old habits that you've worked so hard to break.
A new habit takes weeks to create, and just a few slip-ups to break.
So how do you continue to enjoy life, go to parties, be around friends and family, and not break the new habits you have worked so hard on? Here are a few ideas that could potentially help:
1. Don't shy away from parties. Don't feel as though you have to avoid any social gathering because you are worried about how you will handle it. Go and spend time with those that you feel comfortable with and care about. Disengaging from social events or time with your friends will only serve to make you more discouraged and have less resolve to stick to your plan.
2. Enlist the help of an accountability buddy. Doing difficult things is so much easier when you have someone who is there to help you. If you know that you are going to be struggling this summer, find someone who will be able to help you stay on track, whether that's your spouse, sibling, or friend.
3. Bring your own dish to parties or BBQ's. Hosts love when their friends or guests contribute to the menu at a party, it takes some of the load off of them and shows them that you care about them. If you are going to a party, bring a dish that you are able to eat. Make a fun recipe out of Janeva's cookbook and bring it to share with your friends, who knows, they might like it too!
4. Eat before going to the party. Have a meal right before you head out the door. That way, when you go to the party you aren't hungry and are less likely to fall prey to the sights and smells of the forbidden foods. Fill up your stomach with your lean protein and veggies instead of coming to the buffet famished.
5. Focus on conversations. If you are being social and talking, there is less time that you are able to be eating. When you are with friends, the relationship building time comes from speaking with them and interacting verbally, not from sitting next to each other and eating.
6. Don't congregate by the food. The more you look at the food and smell the food, the more you're going to want to eat it. So don't put yourself in a position where you're in direct eyesight of the buffet table. Get what you need or want, and then find somewhere to sit and eat where you won't be overly tempted.
7. Don't feel the need to explain yourself to others. If your friends ask you why you aren't having potato salad or a slice of pie, you don't need to launch into a full explanation of what you are doing. You can politely say that you got what you wanted and leave it at that. If friends press further, don't hesitate to explain how great you are feeling!
8. Have a response card at the ready. Make a response card and bring it with you to social gatherings that says what you would like to do in each specific situation. You will be more equipped and less caught off guard!
Enjoy your summer and all the festivities that come along with it, but don't use it as an excuse to ruin all the progress you've made!