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Social Events & Weight-loss: Tips to Lose Weight While Enjoying Life

Graduations

Weddings

BBQs

Boating

Birthdays

Bonfires

The list goes on...

Summer is a time for activities, celebrations, and countless social gatherings. While we greatly enjoy being actively part of our social groups, it can be quite challenging to maintain your waistline with all the delicious temptations that come with many social gatherings. So how do we enjoy these outings without the anxiety of the pressures we put on ourselves around food? First off, we need to remember that we eat to live, not live to eat. When we look at it from that perspective, we are then in a better mental space going into social gatherings. 

With any goal, there will be times where sacrifices/changes need to be made in order to reach said goal. However, there can be situations that allow exceptions to that rule. In general, we recommend finding a balance somewhere between complete restriction and overindulgence. We call this controlled enjoyment. 

Controlled enjoyment: how it works?

The truth is, you have these goals for a reason, and in order to reach your goals, a change has to be made in certain areas of your life. You aren't here to just stay the same. With that in mind you can't let your cravings be bigger than your goals. BUT.  There is a but--it does not always have to be as restrictive as you may think. 

It can actually be moderate!

Moderation is the happy in-between space we want to arrive at. This is the sweet spot, which is called controlled enjoyment.

What does controlled enjoyment look like in action? 

  • You're eyeballing/guessing serving sizes to the best of your ability.
  • You're using My Fitness Pal whenever possible to estimate/track calorie and macronutrient content as well as you realistically can while ensuring everything fits within your intended daily totals (or as close to them as you can get!)
  • You're eating a good amount of protein and veggies first, and/or throughout the meal (best way to control hunger), so you become less likely to overindulge on empty carbs and other fun stuff later.
  • You're drinking plenty of water throughout your meal for the same reason as above.
  • You're making smarter choices that will improve your ability to indulge in moderation while still staying within your intended calorie intake. For example, you'll choose leaner cuts of meat. You're eating a filling, low-calorie salad before the less-filling, higher-calorie foods. You're getting various sauces and dressings on the side to minimize the amount that is used (and thus minimize the extra calories it would contain.) You're not wasting calories eating the bread that was brought to your table before your meal at a restaurant or the cheese and cracker appetizer available at a social gathering (thus allowing you to eat more calories later from the foods you're really looking forward to eating). And other similar things.
  • You are eating slowly and actually enjoying your meal instead of stuffing your face as fast as you can to enjoy as much amazing food as possible.

Now you get to enjoy yourself and indulge a little, relax a bit, and eat yummy foods! You have a good time, enjoy yourself and your meal, and the people you're with! All while continuing to stay in control of your diet (what you're eating, how much you're eating, etc.) and simply keeping things moderate and enjoyable while still working within your dietary guidelines.

How to make sure you are truly in that sweet spot.

Because you're measuring your progress and keeping tabs on how things are going (measurements, weigh-ins), you know if you are or are not progressing. If you are progressing, you can keep doing your thang! If you are not progressing, you know that your form of moderation may be a little too indulgent, and you need to adjust and be a little less indulgent.

Here's the thing. If you find yourself in these scenarios quite a bit (events, parties, dates, etc.) and you are trying to follow moderation yet you are either going the opposite direction or are not seeing the progress you want, you may have to reconsider your friend Jackie's birthday party where you know there will only be pizza and fireball served. You may have to adjust a bit to make sure you are actually achieving your fitness and health goals. This does not mean you have to become a hermit, it just may mean that you need to be sure to bring your own prepped meal (or eat before hand)  and practice a more restricted form of enjoyment from time to time. 

Do what works for YOU.

Everyone is different. We all have different goals as well as different lifestyles, jobs, and routines. Because of that, not everyone will be able to follow the same strategy for controlled enjoyment. 

Need help with this? We've got your back! View our program options HERE.

Now, many of our clients have struggled over the years, getting to controlled enjoyment can be a challenge. Many of us first must master willpower + self control before we are able to do things in moderation. If this is you, here are a few tips to get yourself into a good space. 

Take a moment and evaluate your mindset + relationship with food.

First let's talk about mindset. This is vital in all things when it comes to changing you life, often times you must first change the way you think. This generation is very focused on instant gratification and living in the moment, which is great, you get one life. However, when it comes to health and wellness it is important to take a different approach with this one life, you also only get one body, so you must be sure to take care of the vessel you live in. When you can look at changing your mindset to remove the desire to indulge in short term gratification so you can accomplish longevity, you can then master the art of moderation and enjoy life with a more controlled enjoyment approach. This can not be achieved until the mindset is in a good space. 

We next want to explore you personal relationship with food. Often times our poor relationship with our fuel that keeps us alive is not our fault. Not to place blame or make excuses, however much of our society is to blame for this toxic relationship that we don't even realize we are in!

Everything in our society revolves around food. We consume it at every event, holiday, celebration, and often times we encourage and glorify indulging and over eating... only in turn to then criticize and ridicule those who struggle with the balance of it all. 

Having a strong mindset + healthy relationship with food is a major component to being able to achieve controlled enjoyment. Do not confuse controlled enjoyment with restrictive eating, we need to focus rather on moderation and prioritizing our health. 

Reality is, just like all relationships, it is a constant effort that we must work towards regularly. This is not to be obsessive or to create anxiety over, but rather being mindful of what you are consuming. The more you are capable of mastering your mindset + relationship with food, the more prepared you are to enjoy you food, controlled.

When you find balance in enjoying your social life, but also maintaining your fitness/wellness goals, it can a powerful feeling. It starts with practicing and executing willpower, and before you know it you, are in the sweet spot, controlled enjoyment. 

I hope you enjoyed these tips as we are hoping to always provide our subscribers, clients, and followers with helpful tools to continuously level up in every area in life!

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