Top Tips - What to do When you go to a Friend's for Dinner?
Sometimes, being different can feel isolating.
As you change your diet to improve your health it’s possible that you’re going to be eating very different things to your friends and family.
Although some people will be happy to see you making positive changes in your life, some people may say things that make you feel uncomfortable. Often this is simply a sign that they wish they were doing more themselves.
Regardless, we know it can make you feel bad.
These few tips will help you stand your ground and affirm your decision in social situations.
Give notice: Let whoever is hosting know ahead of time that you’re following a new diet for your specific health concern. It can be helpful to let them know that you don’t expect them to change their plans but just that you won’t be eating any non plant-based food and you’re happy to bring something along for everyone to share. Addressing this in advance not only ensures that the host doesn’t feel uncomfortable but it also means you’re less likely to give into temptations when you’re there.
Show, don’t tell: Avoid judging other people for their food choices. Surprisingly, what people eat is a very personal topic and many people will have strong views and opinions to share. Although you may have the urge to tell everyone about what you’ve been learning and how your health is improving it’s often best to simply allow them to see the changes you’re experiencing.
Honest and open: There’s no doubt that eventually, the people around you will become curious. Share your knowledge and resources when people ask and be honest about your journey, slip-ups and how you’re feeling.
Have your key reason: When people try to pressure you into eating something you don’t want to it can be helpful to have a simple reason to explain why you aren’t. Explain that you and your doctor, or nutritionist, have decided that focussing on whole foods will help you overcome your specific issue. This often piques interest and your “diet” becomes interesting to people. Especially if you can say that you’re already feeling better because of it.
Listen and empathize: If someone challenges your food choices, avoid the temptation to get defensive. It’s often best to listen at first and think of a time when perhaps you felt the same way. Let them know that you too had your concerns but overall it’s helping you overcome a specific challenge and feel better.
Remind yourself that it is okay to be different! You are making the best choices for your health. Do not compromise your health journey to make others feel happy or more comfortable.
Have you had any of these experiences? What have been your best responses and what advice would you give to people trying out this diet for the first time? Get in touch with us email@example.com