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The Social Side of Weight Loss

At LetsLose, Advanced Weight Loss Clinics, we provide the very best in physician assisted weight loss. Our clients receive the benefit of our 17 years of experience as leaders in the weight loss industry. Our approach is both clinic and practical, addressing health issues and proven weight loss strategies. Supplements, injections, exercise and diet are all a part of the formula for success. However, we know that one of the key elements of achieving lasting wellness is the social element. Even for the most timid among us, factors in this realm can become stumbling blocks – even blockades – without an effective strategy for neutralizing them. Here is just one of the social land mines that you may face on the weight loss journey: Dining out with friends and family groups.

If you are a part of a friend or family group that enjoys dining out often, you can find yourself feeling trapped in a no-win situation. If you decline to participate, you may feel abandoned or begin to experience depression as a result of being excluded from those you love in social settings. On the other hand, if you continue to go along with your group, you may find yourself constantly making unwise choices because of overwhelming pressure, hunger or frustration. Either choice has the potential to derail you from moving forward in your weight loss efforts.

Your strategy for surviving this social pitfall is two-fold.

1) Don’t apologize. Take charge of the situation before it takes you under. Be honest – not hostile about your struggle. Then, request the freedom to make suggestions for dining out at least some of the time. Those who love you and enjoy having you around may surprise you with their support and will often get on board to help guide the outings to establishments with more responsible dining choices. If they just can’t resist the pull to high fat and low nutrition locations, arm yourself by eating before-hand and/or taking along some healthy snack options. Drink lots of water and focus on the conversation not the food. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by temptation, politely excuse yourself. Always have a “Plan B” to throw into action at that point. (This could be an alternate activity you can be excited about; maybe a movie you’ve been wanting to watch on DVR, a quick shopping stop, a walk with a pet or friend, delivering a meal to a neighbor or even an overdue phone call to someone you’ve been longing to connect with for some time.) Reach deep and remember that your positive approach will guard both your physical and emotional health.

2) Celebrate Your Friends or Family. There are many people in the world today who are lonely, isolated or unable to connect with others. If you have just one friend or family member and that one wants to go eat at a greasy fried fish place every Thursday, you may feel betrayed. Instead, try to consider yourself blessed. Don’t complain and become irritated with them creating friction in the relationship. Suggest that you take turns alternating with a restaurant of your choice. If that isn’t agreeable to them, simply bring along a salad or save your calories and choose something baked or broiled from the menu. Enjoy their company and focus on the relationship not the menu. That is the most valuable thing in the end and your example and commitment may serve as an inspiration to your dining partners. You don’t have to compromise with unhealthy eating but you also don’t have to abandon your friendships.

The best strategy is to educate yourself, prepare ahead, and don’t let situations paralyze you. Take command of your choices and your outlook. Being positive, well-informed and confident will help you navigate these social traps and produce a win-win for yourself and your friends. Weight loss can be a long journey, so try to find a few friends on the same journey and spend some time with them as well. Increasing your circle of friends is a sure way to increase the joy along the way!