Your boyfriend offers you a gargantuan bowl of his butter-soaked fettuccine alfredo. Your friends beg you to share the chocolate tower truffle cake at Cheesecake Factory and hand you a fork.
It’s tough to stick to a healthy eating plan when those around you are indulging. It’s even tougher when they’re bent on making sure you indulge, too. But don’t stress it. This week at our U.S. News blog, we’ve got eight tricks to help you stay on course without alienating the not-so-healthy eaters in your life.
Heck, you may even inspire them to join your cause.
1. Trade a slice for a bite.
Indulgence loves company, so count on a guilt trip if you pass on a temptation your friends gave in to. Make it easy on yourself, then: Pick up your fork and have a small piece of whatever is being served.
If you say, “I’m stuffed, but this looks so delicious I can’t pass up a bite,” you’ll avoid peer pressure by turning the situation around—you’re indulging, not depriving yourself. And you won’t make your friends feel bad by rebuffing their generosity.
Besides, one bite of dessert won’t make a dent in your diet, says Lacie Peterson, a registered dietitian with the University of Utah.
2. Create a diversion.
Can’t enjoy a bite without whetting your appetite for the whole cake? You needn’t explain why you’re skipping dessert—just divert attention from your pass. As the serving dish goes around, strike up an amusing conversation or excuse yourself to make a phone call. Better yet, bring along a bag of almonds and say you’re craving a handful of those instead. Again, you’ll put others at ease by having a treat along with them.
By creating a distraction, you’ll fare better, too: According to 2005 University of Toronto study, making a fuss over food restraint often intensifies cravings, which can lead to overeating.
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