Dating and going out on the town can certainly derail your best dieting efforts, so it’s easy to see why healthy relationships can help you form — and maintain — healthy habits. The emotional wellbeing, confidence and support that you get in healthy friendships, familial relationships or in romantic partnerships make you feel whole and happy, no matter how difficult your diet or exercise regime.
Rethink Saturday Night
When you are single, drinks with friends, happy hour and big dinners or late night junk food are the norm. Unfortunately, all that partying chalks up to some major calories. Just 2 margaritas and a few shared appetizers can add up to a day’s worth of calories. In a healthy relationship, you’ll have the confidence to say no to foods that you don’t need or want, and will be content to spend Saturday nights at home more often, or to get dinner and a drink — probably wine, which has fewer calories than most happy hour choices — may help you make healthier choices.
Some of the greatest dates, or fun things to do with close friends and family, are more active, and don’t require food and alcohol. Go for a run with your best bud, and you don’t feel awkward if you aren’t chatting up a storm. But hang with the new girl at work, and you may feel the need to pair your new friendship with a few beers, simply so you have something to do, and are around other people to fill any awkward silences.
Fun Active “Dates”
Whether you’re with your mom, your husband, or your kids, try some fun, physical activities that bring you closer. Try these team work based activities on for size:
- Fly a kite
- Take a walk after dinner
- Beach volleyball
- Races (running, walking, in the pool, at the gym, etc)
- Cook a new, healthy recipe or dessert
- Bicycle built for two
Talk it Out
Your healthiest relationships are probably also the people that you are around often. Use that loved one to explain what your healthy habits are and why. If you are on a crusade to get to the gym every day in order to drop 5 lbs, you can trust that person to offer encouragement, be proud of your accomplishments and maybe even join you as you sweat it out — just ask, and they’ll probably be happy to join you! Get them on your team to stop eating processed sugar, for example, and you’ll have someone to vent to and someone to help you find great alternatives!
It’s also important for you to speak up if you feel like this person is not supporting your work. Are they trying to talk you into chicken wings as an appetizer. Explain why you don’t want them and that you feel like you are under pressure to order them. They love you and will listen, so speak up!
Confidence and Calm
These healthy relationships are part of what keeps you centered, calm and feeling confident in who you are. Maintain those relationships by offering the same support to your friends and loved ones as they do to you, and that love and support will come back to you 10 fold.