Social pressure around food can be very strong.
Maybe you have family members who see refusing food as rude or even sacrilege. Or maybe you have a relative who makes something special “just for you.” You might have others tell you a keto lifestyle is unhealthy, no matter how much proof of the benefits you show.
No matter what you do, it’s likely at some point you’ll have other people pressure you to break your diet. And when it happens, it’s best to be prepared.
Here are some ways to break the mold and stand firm when faced with social pressure around food:
There are many reasons people could push food on you, such as:
They worry you aren’t having a good time or getting enough to eat. If they express this, assure them you’re having a great time and just there for their company, not the food.
They feel defensive of their own habits. Humans tend to link their food choices to their identity. So seeing your healthy choices can bring up uncomfortable feelings about their own diets or health. Maybe they’ve tried and failed to lose weight themselves or they have a different diet philosophy than you.
In defense, they can unconsciously (or consciously) try to “drag you down with them.”
Your not eating makes them uncomfortable or confuses them. Some friends or family may not care at all about eating healthy and just won’t understand your food choices.
But no matter the reason, others are not your responsibility. Simply stand firm with a kind “no thanks” and remember that no one can make you eat something you don’t want to. If they keep pushing you on why you’re doing it, just say “it’s what works for me.”
If they pressure you, it’s about them—not you. There’s no need to justify your decisions.
Don’t force your diet on others, but demonstrate the benefits by example:
Don’t be pushy, but stay confident in healthy diet you’re following, even if other people don’t get it.
If you’re going to a social gathering where you’ll be faced with a lot of temptation, have a rich keto-friendly meal before you leave. Say you already ate and you’re just there to visit with everyone. Plus, it’s much easier to say “no” to unhealthy foods when your stomach is full with a nutritious meal.
At the end of the day, you are making healthy choices for you and your health. Even if others think your diet is weird or funny or unnecessary, they don’t really care that much. They’ll go home and think about other things.
Keep your eye on your own health goals and needs. Everyone else will be just fine.
Connect with others who understand your healthy convictions. Pray for strength and willpower. This will help you keep going and remember why you started. If you don’t know anyone local who understands (or even if you do), join our active, supportive Facebook community of Keto Zone dieters!
Overall, if you know you’ll experience social pressure to break your diet, prepare ahead of time. Practice what you’ll say, and keep your long-term goals in mind. Stand firm knowing you’re making great choices for your health that are more than worth it in the long run.