Joining together for food and drink is one of the most fundamental aspects of human interaction. We crave socialization and friendship almost as we crave foods. We meet with friends and family members to find support and encouragement, to laugh and to cry, and to feel connected with another person for at least a short amount of time. During your Optifast Program, the support and encouragement of your friends and family members can be a great asset as you lose weight. But meeting for food and drinks becomes a challenge when you’ve committed to a full-meal replacement diet.
The average length of our Optifast program is 18 weeks, with potential to go longer. The thought that you can go four months without sitting down to eat with any friends or family members might be a bit far-fetched. As time goes on you’ll be faced with family meals at home, with special occasions and with invitations to see friends.
Eating at Home
During your weight loss program, your home can either become a haven of encouragement or mine-field of temptations. It all depends on what you put in it.
Talk with your family members about your weight loss goals and explain to them how your OPTIFAST plan will work. Then, come up with a plan together that can keep everyone happy and satisfied as you focus on improving your health.
Here are a few tips for a healthier home during your Optifast program:
- Be aware of your greatest weaknesses and keep your home clear of snacks that will be difficult to avoid.
- Ask family members not to leave food sitting out in the kitchen. Think: Out of sight, out of mind.
- After dinner, pack leftovers into serving-size Tupperware for other members of your family to eat.
- When you sit down with your family, have an OPITFAST meal prepared for yourself.
A 2011 survey found that the average American dines out between four and five times a week. Between breakfast, lunch and dinner, this adds up to just over 20 percent of our weekly meals.
Of course, not all of these meals out are social events. Time crunches and busy schedules cause many people to start perusing menus to have an easy meal. During the OPTIFAST program, this type of dining out can be easily avoided as the meal replacements are quick and easy to prepare. Dining out with friends or family may be more difficult to avoid.
Consider ways that you can avoid temptations at restaurants and stick to your OPTIFAST plan:
- Call a restaurant ahead of time and find out their policy on meal replacements. Many restaurants will permit someone who is part of a larger party to bring their own meal replacement into their establishment.
- If you do not feel comfortable eating your Optifast product in front of company, then eat beforehand. When you arrive at the restaurant, order a glass of water and decline tastes of other people’s food.
- Don’t even open the menu. The longer you think about other foods, the more likely you are to break from your Optifast plan.
- If possible, try changing dinner plans to after dinner plans. Meet at a café where you can have a cup of tea or a black cup of coffee.
Don’t sit down at a table without a plan in place concerning what you are going to eat, when, and how much of it. Whether you are eating at home or dining out with friends, try being open about your rapid weight loss goals. You may find that dining together is a great way to get support from your loved ones as you stick to your weight loss plan.