Dieting is truly a lifestyle change. You change what you eat, when you eat, how you eat. In doing so, you may feel like you cannot have the social life you once had, especially one that revolved around meeting friends and family for drinks or dinner. In giving up this basic, human need to be social, you can be sabotaging your weight loss success. There are ways to maintain your diet without sacrificing your social life.

Plan Ahead

If you’re planning to meet a group of friends for dinner, check out the restaurant’s menu ahead of time. Many places now list calorie counts beside menu options or have a section of their menu dedicated to healthier options. Find something that fits into your meal plan and tell yourself that this is what you are going to order. That way, you don’t feel pressured to order something that will knock you off track. You will enjoy your outing and your dinner and can celebrate your success.

Choose the Right Drinks

You don’t have to give up meeting coworkers for drinks after work. Sparkling water is a great substitute for super-sweet alcoholic beverages. Still, if you want to order something alcoholic, choose lighter options like low-calorie beers and wines or wine spritzers. Another great tip it to drink a glass of water between alcoholic drinks. This not only helps keep you hydrated and feeling full, but it also helps your body metabolize the alcohol. By not succumbing to the alcohol’s effects, you stay in control of your decisions and can avoid giving into the temptations of cheat foods.

Choose to Host

Socializing does not have to mean going out. Hosting events at your home is a great way to see family and friends while staying in control of your diet. You control the meal plan and the ingredients used. You know what a portion size is. Having this control helps you stay on track while enjoying companionship. If you’re going to a friend’s house, offer to contribute by bringing something you’ve prepared. This way you know that there will be at least one choice that will help you stick to your diet. Here are some tips on creating a healthy charcuterie board guests will love.

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