Getting together with family and friends are often connected with food – but could these social activities be sabotaging your weight loss goals?
Possibly. Here is why:
Research has shown that when we eat with other people, we tend to eat more food than we would have otherwise. Maybe it is because you are trying to un-wind. Maybe you are celebrating, which may result in your ordering more foods like cocktails and desserts. You may be treating yourself to enjoy foods that you don’t otherwise eat every day. And you are likely focusing more on your visit than on your food.
Research from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that eating at restaurants often results in us taking in about 200 additional calories during the day. If you eat out just once a week, these additional calories could result in you gaining three extra pounds each year. Restaurants are notorious for offering larger portion sizes – they want their customers to be happy and satisfied. However, larger portion sizes are consistently found to result in us eating more food without us feeling more full. Depending on how often you eat out, this could result in you moving away from, not closer to, your weight loss goal.
Restaurants advertising their menus as “healthy” may fool you into overeating. Researchers found that people often underestimate the calories of “healthy” meals by 20-45%, compared to estimates for a more indulgent meal, which is often 10-20% under. They also found that consumers were more likely to order additional side dishes or enjoy additional snacks later in the day when eating at a healthy-sounding restaurant.
When I work with clients around weight loss, I coach them on weight loss strategies that result in slow and steady weight loss. This approach allows the focus to be on a healthful lifestyle, and not deprivation. Social excursions, depending on what they look like and how often they occur, could be undoing some of your work and progress.
No! But it is important to look at how this social activity fits into your current diet and lifestyle goals. As you think about your social activities with family and friends, reflect how these activities involve food and how your eating changes when you eat out:
In addition to connecting with your family and friends around food, consider whether there are other activities you could enjoy together. Here are some ideas to get you started:
It is the everyday habits that make the difference as to whether you will move toward or away from your goal. Over the next month, notice how your social activities involve food and see how these activities could be impacting your progress toward your goals.
Kristyn is the CEO (Chief Energizing Officer & Chief Eating Officer) with Energize Nutrition.
She is a high-energy and knowledgeable Nutritionist and Dietitian. Drawing from 17+ years of experience, she’ll infect you with her passion and enthusiasm for good quality food and sound nutrition.
Kristyn has worked with hundreds of women and men over the age of 40 years, inspiring them to use food as fuel for their vitality and wellness, one bite at a time. Kristyn leads health-inspired cooking classes and food demonstrations for the public and health professionals, helping people discover the pleasure of eating great-tasting food that nourishes their health and wellness. Kristyn offers nutrition coaching, helping clients feel vibrant and well, one bite at a time.
Asa Food, Nutrition and Culinary Coach, Kristyn has received several accolades from past clients:
“Kristyn is an amazing resource on all things food, nutrition and well-being. She’s always ready to serve up satisfying solutions whether actual food or lifestyle strategies. She is the real deal as an example of healthy living. From working together on a national Board and in a MasterMind group, she is highly professional, always dependable and exceptionally organized. She works with a warm, collaborative style and always finds a way to bring out the best in people.”
Patricia Chuey, MSc, RD – Foodtritionist & Author – www.patriciachuey.com
Kristyn was named as one of the Top 10 Dietitians in Calgary, 2016. She was also named a Centennial Alumni of Influence by the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, University of Saskatchewan in June 2014. Kristyn is an active contributor to Dietitians of Canada, receiving two Volunteer Recognition Awards from this national professional association.
Kristyn “lives it to lead it”, eating (mostly) nourishing food to fuel an active lifestyle, while saving room for indulgence! Kristyn has completed several 10 km road races, two sprint triathlons, two Gran Fondos, and has run three half marathons. She is a busy mother of two very active boys. Kristyn is in her 17th year of practice as a nutritionist/dietitian, and also has a certificate in Culinary Arts.
Ready to energize your youth, vitality and wellness? Work with me!