- Transform dining gatherings into creative ventures like art sessions or museum visits to distract from food-centered socializing.
- Boost physical activity by participating in activities with friends or co-workers, such as registering and training for a race, volunteering for charitable work, or joining a bowling or softball league.
- For more food-oriented socializing, try home-cooked gatherings where you can control calories and portion sizes. Challenge guests to bring a healthy dish for added variety.
Connecting and socializing with friends is hugely beneficial for not only your emotional health, but also your physical well-being. However, if your social outings are constantly centered around restaurants or taverns, it may become difficult to maintain your commitment to a healthy, plant-based diet.
There are various strategies to enjoy fun times with friends without putting the focus on food. These alternatives will be advantageous to both you and your friends.
Let Creativity Lead the Way
Transform your usual dining gatherings into a creative venture. Whether you’re into quilting, knitting, or any other form of art, engaged hands are less likely to reach for snacks. If your preference is admiring art instead of creating it, explore different museums with your friends instead of the usual bar rounds.
Boosting Physical Activity
Looking for a more physical engagement? Rally some friends or pair up with another couple and register for a 5K or 10K race. Train together once or twice a week leading up to the race day. Alternatively, opt for charitable work and volunteer as a group on a given weekend afternoon.
If you’ve been leading a sedentary lifestyle, ease into exercising with low-key activities. Joining a bowling or softball league could be great bonding experiences. These activities can even extend to co-workers for outside-of-office socializing. Be sure to carry along some healthy snacks for post-exercise refueling.
Desire to bond over food? You can have better control over calories and portion sizes by preparing the meals yourself. Some easy meals for large groups include grilled veggies in summer and flavorful plant-based chilis and stews in colder seasons. To make things interesting, challenge each of your guests to bring a high-taste, low-calorie dish. This could help broaden your taste horizons without widening your waistline.
Looking for more suggestions on how to keep your friends, family, and co-workers engaged and active? The American Council on Exercise holds a plethora of ideas for promoting physical activity as part of your social life.