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5 Ways to Diet-Proof Your Social Life

5 Ways to Diet-Proof Your Social Life

Let’s face it, dieting tends to get in the way of truly enjoying all food. Show of (digital) hands: how many times have you said “no” to the homemade birthday cake at one of your friend’s birthday parties? When dining out, have you had to turn down a bite of food because it didn’t “fit” into your diet?

Feeling constrained by your diet is not fun for anyone, but don’t fear, we’ve got you covered! From brunch to the mid-day coffee break to late-night snacks, having your diet get in the way can be restrictive and limiting. And nobody has got time for that. Read on for solutions and strategies to diet-proof common social events.

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rye sandwiches and mashed avocado, eggs, tomatoes and cucumbers. tinting. selective focus

    Brunch

    Literally my favorite meal, since it incorporates some of breakfast’s best with lunch’s finest. When brunching, try to select options that are high in protein (think eggs, lean meat) and whole grains (whole wheat breads, oats) and don’t be afraid to add in some healthy fats (hello, avocado!). My current obsession is avocado smashed and spread on toasted whole wheat bread and topped with sunny side up eggs. If I’m feeling extra adventurous, I douse the whole thing with hot sauce.

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    Coffee

      Mid-day coffee break

      You are not alone if you often feel the need for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up. I prefer my coffee black, but when I branch out of my comfort zone, I favor a fancy flavored coffee sweetened with lower-calorie options and fewer pumps of syrup. When I don’t feel like having something sweet, I just add milk (regular, coconut, or soy) to my coffee. It’s a nice way to make coffee feel like a treat while adding some healthy fats and protein.

      Happy Hour

        Happy hour

        To avoid a dreaded demise from happy hour to “hangry hour,” make sure you don’t show up to happy hour starved. Popping a handful of nuts before you head out the door will keep your stomach from grumbling. Once there, gravitate towards options that are fruit and veggie heavy. Enjoying a cheese platter or dips with some veggies is a great way to incorporate some more healthy choices.

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        Ice Cream

          Sweet treats

          Sweets and socializing go hand in hand and you don’t have to give them up to be healthy. Here, it’s important to keep portions in check. Split dessert with a friend or ask for a child-sized portion (many ice cream places offer this). It all boils down to calorie balance. You’ll not only be able to shave off some calories, but will save some money as well!

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          Wholewheat wholemeal pizza with tomatoes, cheese and herbs

            Late-night snacks

            Pizza, nachos, and anything fried—some of food’s greatest gifts. I would be crazy to advocate eating these foods all the time, but these foods, when indulged in moderation, can have a place in an overall healthy diet. It’s more about how they’re prepared than the foods themselves. Here are a few tips on how to “healthify” these tasty treats.

            • Order your pizza with whole wheat crust—this is becoming a more frequent option, and I have even seen these options in my local grocery stores, so take advantage of it!
            • On your next order of nachos, why not add veggies?
            • In the mood for fries? Sweet potato fries are a nice alternative to regular.

            So there you have it: five different social events and more than five different ways to liberate you from restrictive diets. Try one or two at your next outing and see how they go.

            Small changes can really add up to something significant, especially over time. Hopefully, you will be freed from dieting constraints while feeling empowered to make more healthful food decisions in these exciting, yet sometimes over-indulgent, social situations!

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            Last Updated on November 20, 2018

            10 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

            10 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

            A new year beautifully symbolizes a new chapter opening in the book that is your life. But while so many people like you aspire to achieve ambitious goals, only 12% of you will ever experience the taste of victory. Sound bad? It is. 156 million people (that’s 156,000,000) will probably give up on their resolution before you can say “confetti.” Keep on reading to learn why New Year’s resolutions fail (and how to succeed).

            Note: Since losing weight is the most common New Year’s resolution, I chose to focus on weight loss (but these principles can be applied to just about any goal you think of — make it work for you!).

            1. You’re treating a marathon like a sprint.

            Slow and steady habit change might not be sexy, but it’s a lot more effective than the “I want it ALL and I want it NOW!” mentality. Small changes stick better because they aren’t intimidating (if you do it right, you’ll barely even notice them!).

            If you have a lot of bad habits today, the last thing you need to do is remodel your entire life overnight. Want to lose weight? Stop it with the crash diets and excessive exercise plans. Instead of following a super restrictive plan that bans anything fun, add one positive habit per week. For example, you could start with something easy like drinking more water during your first week. The following week, you could move on to eating 3 fruits and veggies every day. And the next week, you could aim to eat a fistful of protein at every meal.

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            2. You put the cart before the horse.

            “Supplementing” a crappy diet is stupid, so don’t even think about it. Focus on the actions that produce the overwhelming amount of results. If it’s not important, don’t worry about it.

            3. You don’t believe in yourself.

            A failure to act can cripple you before you leave the starting line. If you’ve tried (and failed) to set a New Year’s resolution (or several) in the past, I know it might be hard to believe in yourself. Doubt is a nagging voice in your head that will resist personal growth with every ounce of its being. The only way to defeat doubt is to believe in yourself. Who cares if you’ve failed a time or two? This year, you can try again (but better this time).

            4. Too much thinking, not enough doing.

            The best self-help book in the world can’t save you if you fail to take action. Yes, seek inspiration and knowledge, but only as much as you can realistically apply to your life. If you can put just one thing you learn from every book or article you read into practice, you’ll be on the fast track to success.

            5. You’re in too much of a hurry.

            If it was quick-and-easy, everybody would do it, so it’s in your best interest to exercise your patience muscles.

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            6. You don’t enjoy the process.

            Is it any wonder people struggle with their weight when they see eating as a chore and exercise as a dreadful bore? The best fitness plan is one that causes the least interruption to your daily life. The goal isn’t to add stress to your life, but rather to remove it.

            The best of us couldn’t bring ourselves to do something we hate consistently, so make getting in shape fun, however you’ve gotta do it. That could be participating in a sport you love, exercising with a good friend or two, joining a group exercise class so you can meet new people, or giving yourself one “free day” per week where you forget about your training plan and exercise in any way you please.

            7. You’re trying too hard.

            Unless you want to experience some nasty cravings, don’t deprive your body of pleasure. The more you tell yourself you can’t have a food, the more you’re going to want it. As long as you’re making positive choices 80-90% of the time, don’t sweat the occasional indulgence.

            8. You don’t track your progress.

            Keeping a written record of your training progress will help you sustain an “I CAN do this” attitude. All you need is a notebook and a pen. For every workout, record what exercises you do, the number of repetitions performed, and how much weight you used if applicable. Your goal? Do better next time. Improving your best performance on a regular basis offers positive feedback that will encourage you to keep going.

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            9. You have no social support.

            It can be hard to stay motivated when you feel alone. The good news? You’re not alone: far from it. Post a status on Facebook asking your friends if anybody would like to be your gym or accountability buddy. If you know a co-worker who shares your goal, try to coordinate your lunch time and go out together so you’ll be more likely to make positive decisions. Join a support group of like-minded folks on Facebook, LinkedIn, or elsewhere on the internet. Strength in numbers is powerful, so use it to your advantage.

            10. You know your what but not your why.

            The biggest reason why most New Year’s resolutions fail: you know what you want but you not why you want it.

            Yes: you want to get fit, lose weight, or be healthy… but why is your goal important to you? For example:

            Do you want to be fit so you can be a positive example that your children can admire and look up to?

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            Do you want to lose fat so you’ll feel more confident and sexy in your body than ever before?

            Do you want to be healthy so you’ll have increased clarity, energy, and focus that would carry over into every single aspect of your life?

            Whether you’re getting in shape because you want to live longer, be a good example, boost your energy, feel confident, have an excuse to buy hot new clothes, or increase your likelihood of getting laid (hey, I’m not here to judge) is up to you. Forget about any preconceived notions and be true to yourself.

            • The more specific you can make your goal,
            • The more vivid it will be in your imagination,
            • The more encouraged you’ll be,
            • The more likely it is you will succeed (because yes, you CAN do this!).

            I hope this guide to why New Year’s resolutions fail helps you achieve your goals this year. If you found this helpful, please pass it along to some friends so they can be successful just like you. What do you hope to accomplish next year?

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