Home Forums SWTD What to do about Social Sabatoge

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    • Avatarmstarrusa
      Post count: 2

      Hi Doctor Elena,

      One of the problems that I have is a busy schedule and many occasions where I have lunch and dinner meetings, business gatherings, etc. It is often times very difficult to “stay the course” when the venue offers limited food options. Having a strong will sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t during these social occasions. Do you have any suggestions as far as staying on task of good decision-making during these social situations?

    • AvatarJosie Tabacca
      Post count: 3

      This is such a great question! I will be interested to see what Dr. Elena has to add, but something she has impressed upon me is that cheese is my friend. I am never afraid to load up on cheese and raw vegetables in these settings- especially the crunchy, filling vegetables like celery and broccoli. Another simple change to make is skipping the bread course at a lot of sit-down meals and asking the server to package your dessert up to go/not bring it at all, if it is included in the meal.

    • Elena A Christofides, MD, FACEElena A Christofides, MD, FACE
      Post count: 7

      Matt, Thank you for the question! I agree that social sabotage is a real issue that requires a bit of planning and strategy to navigate without ill-will. Josie’s suggestions are great for buffet and nibbles type settings where there is a lot of finger food. These situations almost always have some cheese and fresh raw vegetables. All too often though you might be in morning meetings where it seems destiny that there will be only pastries (or bagels) available. You’re right that will power can only get you so far – and a guaranteed failure when you are hungry. Therefore, my suggestion is to always plan to have a protein shake on board so you aren’t hungry and tempted. I like to make my shakes at night so that I can just grab and go in the morning. I am not a great morning person so I find this more convenient. I will often drink it on my way to work. If I’m headed to an afternoon meeting, I will drink another shake on the way there to make sure that I’m not hungry when I get there. I almost always make a double batch of my shake to ensure that I won’t have an excuse! This way, if anyone asks, you can politely say “Oh, yeah, I already ate because I was really hungry earlier and couldn’t wait.” This is an excuse that no one will question!
      Does anyone else have some great strategies for dealing with social situations?

    • AvatarMichelleHF
      Post count: 1

      In those buffet/nibbling situations, I always scan the table for food that are good choices for me: protein, fruits, vegetables, nuts, etc. and fill my plate with those. if I’m tempted with indulgent foods, I’ll choose the ONE that is “worth it” to me, after I finish my healthier options. Sometimes, when I really am conscious about my choice, none of them are actually worth it in the end. Store bought cookies for example, seem tempting if I just want something sweet but afterwards I’m always disappointed!

      When eating out, I recommend scanning the menu in advance, so you can make a better choice when you aren’t surrounded by temptation. When you get to the restaurant, don’t look at the menu. Just stick with your choice. Though it sometimes hard to stick to my choice once I get there, I’m constantly surprised at how much I end up loving that choice in the end. There are so many great options out there, in just about every menu. And I always feel so much better (physically and mentally) afterwards.

      Lastly, as Dr Elena mentioned, arriving prepared with your own foods (or just having eaten) is often helpful. Whether it’s making a smoothie, carrying a bar in your purse, or packing a portable snack, being prepared in advance is key.

      Sometimes, when these situations are particularly hard to do control, I’ll eat what is offered and just keep from over eating. Perhaps not an option if you are on a strict plan, Keto, elimination diet, celiac, etc. But for example, I will be visiting relative this weekend and I know they will only have pizza on Friday night. I try to avoid gluten. I’ll see if I can find some vegetables in their fridge, and I’ll have maybe two slices of pizza. If I need more later, I’ll use the epic bar and nuts I packed.

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