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How to Eat Out and Stay on Track

How to maintain a social life and still make progress on your health goals

By Annie Vonheim, Holistic Nutritionist

 

“Aww why did you order a salad?”

 

“You’re no fun!”

 

Anytime you’ve tried to resist the norms of a social gathering you are faced with some light-hearted, but pointed complaints and criticism. Sometimes it can even get personal. 

 

We’re here to tell you that food pressure is real.

 

Anyone who has been to a party, family or social event knows that the pressure to eat and drink can be enormous and there are societal and even cultural expectations for you to keep up.

 

One of the biggest struggles many people complain about is how hard it is to be social and still make progress toward our health goals, especially if we are mid-journey or in the middle of a juice cleanse

 

After interviewing some experts in our amazing juicing community, I was amazed at how knowledgeable and skilled they were at navigating social situations and peer pressure when it came to food and their juice cleanse program. 

 

Some of them had even completely transformed their health- achieving their dream bodies, energy levels and even dropping up to 70 lbs- despite the same parties, dinners and social obligations we all have.

 

The clear pattern I saw emerge from these successful, healthy juicers was that they had a clear goal and plan in place. They weren’t approaching their health goals randomly- they never made decisions based on their emotions and feelings that day. 

 

They had a system and they stuck to it. 

 

This system carried them through all these social events as well. So many of us never take the time to think about what an ideal meal or plan looks like so we inevitably will fail when tempted.

 

We show up at parties and restaurants and nibble on the fun appetizers, order whatever sounds tastiest to us, eat until we’re stuffed, throw back a few cocktails and hey should we order dessert? The next morning, we’re bloated, we didn’t sleep well, our eyes are puffy and we moan, “never again.”



The consequences of not eating right start to emerge gradually in the hours, days, and weeks after those meals out. Never really during the meal. And that’s why we’re so bad at making decisions about what to eat when eating out. The cost is experienced so much later that we don’t associate it with the meal.

 

Instead, the healthiest people I know have clear plans and rules around how they eat out. So they can see friends and not only NOT backslide, but continue to get stronger and healthier every day.

What are they doing that the rest of us aren’t?

 

Here are 5 things to start doing today to keep yourself from backsliding while still being social.

 

1.) Get clear on your goals and your system to achieve it

 

If you’re not completely certain about what your goals are and what you want to be at the end of it, it’s not likely the choices you make will help you get there. Without being committed to a plan, you are much more likely to get distracted and just follow the crowd. Be specific with what you want to become and how you will get there. 

 

If you don’t have a plan yet, the physician-created plans we created for you from the LIFE BundleEverything Bundle and Transformation Bundle have been our most popular for accomplishing major health victories in our community.

 

2.) Don’t deviate from your meal plan even when you go out

 

Do your research beforehand and find out what they will be serving or what’s on the menu. You can choose to build a meal that is most similar to your clean meals out of what they have. You can also decide that whenever you eat out, you’ll avoid bread or pasta, eat lean protein and vegetables, and avoid alcohol and dessert. 

 

3.) Bring your juices and eat before you go

 

Let’s face it, sometimes our friends just want to eat somewhere that has nothing that matches your plan. We all know a place like that, and let’s face it, some of us still live with the regret! 

Here’s the plan- just do your best.

 

You can eat before you go so that you are not tempted to make choices out of hunger. I find that eating about an hour before the meal is optimal, so you can still graze on a healthier appetizer or side to keep up appearances. You can even bring your own juices to the venue, and watch your friends get jealous over your delicious looking smoothie. 

4.) Put Your Needs First 

 

Many of us eat to please the people we’re with. After all, eating together is a deeply social activity that spans cultures, traditions and basic human behavior. People might say “you look fine”, but what they don’t realize is that you are not satisfied with just appearing fine. Let them know that while that may be true, you are trying to improve your health to a whole new level. Being overweight, exhausted, bloated isn’t “fine” by us anymore. 

 

Whether you are just starting to make changes in your lifestyle or you’ve been at it for a while now, you will encounter people who want to criticize your choices or put you down. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve heard is that “you are only truly free when you stop giving a f#$*!. While that is quite the statement, it captures the exact mindset you want to help you maintain complete focus on your plans. 

 

Stick to the plan, because at the end of the day, it is you that will be reaping the lifelong health benefits, not the haters (who won’t even remember in the first place). 

 

5.) Change your mindset about eating out

 

Do you currently tell yourself that you’re depriving yourself by sticking with your diet plan? How is that narrative helping you accomplish your goals? How would you feel if you instead started telling yourself how much you truly enjoy eating clean whole foods that truly nourish you and make you feel good?

 

Instead of thinking how much you will sacrifice, you start to focus on the connection with your loved ones instead of the meal in front of you. Focus on the long term goals and vision that you have set out for yourself, instead of the short term things that you feel like you are missing out on. 



Being social and taking care of our health are both natural and vital parts of our lives. Both of these things will never go away, so this is the perfect time to truly master how we will approach eating out and social events while still focusing on our health goals. You got this, because we’re always on your side!