Is Your Social Life Sabotaging Your Weight Goals?

By Kristyn Hall

May 26

Lunch with a girlfriend. Chicken wings and beers with the guys. Drinks after work. Date night Friday night (you deserve it after the week you’ve had!). Family brunch on Sunday.

Is Your Social Life Sabotaging Your Weight Goals?

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:

  • Eating With Other People Can Change How We Eat

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.

  • We Eat More Calories in the Day When We Eat Out

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.

  • Even if You Choose a “Healthier” Restaurant, You Are More Likely to Order More Calories!

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.

Does this mean you cannot go out to eat with your friends or family to eat?

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:

  • What kind of foods do you eat? What kind of drinks do you drink?
  • How much more food do you eat?
  • How does eating out impact what and how you eat elsewhere in the day?
  • How often do you eat out? (think breakfast, lunch, supper and snacks).
  • How do your everyday choices and habits move you toward your goal?

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:

  • Grab a latte and go for a walk in the park.
  • Lace up your shoes and go for a run along a pathway together.
  • Enjoy a yoga or Pilates class together then go for a hot cup of tea.
  • Try a paint-night or pottery class in your community.

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.

Weight Goals and Water Away Offer With Discount

kristyn hallKristyn Hall

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:

  • “My inability to control my weight left me feeling quite stuck. Kristyn was able to help me get started again. Like many women, I know a great deal about food, calories and diets so her ability to hone in on my unique weight problems made me trust her judgement in all areas regarding food choices. She is also extremely supportive and puts emphasis on the importance of a well-rounded life not just food choices.”
  • “Kristyn responded to my many goals by giving me the guidance and information I needed to inform my diet and nutrition choices. I learned how to balance my meals throughout the day by adding foods and the right mix of carb, protein and fats. I didn’t experience as many cravings and tamed the binges. I started to feed my body when it was hungry. My body and energy feels more balanced and stable. I tried some of the recipes she gave me and I’m cooking now. Which is not something I would have thought I would ever do as I didn’t like cooking at all.  But now I crave these recipes and look forward to making them. I now believe that learning to cook is the only way to truly make the change to this being a lifestyle rather than a fad.”
  • “Thank you Kristyn, you have listened to me and supported me to make choices to determine my own plan. Rather than giving me a script that I would have to fit in to and eventually tire of or fail at. I think I have good habits to keep moving forward with and building on.”
  • “Kristyn was great – she has so much energy. Very informative”.
  • “Engaging and enthusiastic. Very knowledgeable”.
  • “Kristyn is fun and positive”.
  • “Awesome. Easy to understand and friendly.”
  • “Kristyn is informative, welcoming and very good at answering questions”
  • “Very pleasant personality – enthusiastic and passionate about nutrition and food”.

“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 –

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!