by Danielle Kent
Before I begin, I would like to highlight that I am not trying to express any opinion on anyone’s weight or figure. I completely endorse the fact that being healthy and happy with your shape is by far the most important thing, however it is easy to say that about other people when only 10% of women say that they are completely happy with their bodies, and to be honest I find that result actually quite high because I don’t know a single person who would say that they absolutely love everything about themselves. This article is nothing to do with anyone’s size or weight, it is purely to do with the approach that people have to healthy eating and dieting.
It has become clear to me that the reason why a lot of people can’t lose weight or stick to a healthy diet is because of other people. Humans are fattening! I’m not suggesting that everyone stops eating other people (although I don’t endorse cannibalism and I think it is frowned upon by general society), but it seems that the most effective way of sticking to a healthy eating plan is to eliminate any kind of company from your life. Very depressing.
Everyone incorporates – or at least tries to – some kind of low fat eating regime into their lives. It is beneficial in every way, and everyone knows it, so why does it still come as a shock or even a hindrance to people when someone refuses a pizza in favour of a salad? I know that anyone who decides to go on a diet, regardless of their reasons, should understand that they are trying to implement a lifestyle change rather than participating in a temporary low-fat eating plan, but how far does going on a diet pervade your actual life? A lot!
So many times this week I have been offered take-aways, meals out, out of date boxes of Malteasers (which was weirdly the only thing that I did accept out of the three) and I understand how people find it so hard to stick to a healthy diet when there is so much pressure from other people to eat unhealthy. If someone asks you to eat out with them and you refuse, then you are letting them down. And obviously everyone in your life can’t suffer purely because you want to drop a dress size. So what about going out and choosing a ‘healthy option’? Firstly, these are few and far between – I was in a restaurant recently and was appalled to find that there was a salad on the menu which contained 1480 calories, three hundred more than the mixed grill! As well as this, what is the point in spending money on a meal which you aren’t going to enjoy as much as you would enjoy a roast dinner? Therefore you feel you are better off not going, subsequently feeling disappointed that you aren’t spending time with your friends and family AND disappointing them in the process.
Is there any way to avoid diet drainers? I assume the only real way to please everyone is to compromise. You don’t need to eat out every night, and if you know that you are having a meal out or a takeaway that evening then make lower calorie choices throughout the day. I’m not trying to advise because I am trying to do this myself and I am definitely not Gillian McKeith, I just don’t want my food choices to affect my social life and my friend’s social lives! According to Penn State University, eating a bowl of non-cream based soup as a starter would result in eating 20% less calories overall during the course of the meal. Also, many people browse the healthier options on the menu and are then more likely to choose the higher-fat meal – unfortunately just thinking about eating a healthy meal isn’t the same as eating a healthy meal. This relates back to the previous paragraph, what is the point in even going out if you won’t enjoy your meal? So I’m sure there is an option to swap one fattier element of your meal for a healthier choice. And stop eating when you are full! This seems obvious but I always feel like if I am paying for food, I don’t want to waste my money by only eating half.
If everyone supported each other, everyone would find it much easier to achieve the body that they want, because I’m also guilty of insisting to my friends that ten bags of Doritos won’t hurt, but sadly it does hurt the next day when they have put on three pounds. So don’t eat ten bags of Doritos, just eat five! And then everyone will be much happier in the long run.
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