We have all been there, we just started a new fitness regimen, we have been eating clean for a few days, we are feeling better, then BAM taco Tuesday. Your best friend just invited you to the place with the best carnitas in town, everyone will be there, it is also $2.00 Beer night and you don’t know what to do. This may not be your exact situation but we all face some sort of peer pressure situation at some point. When you commit to living a healthier lifestyle or just to a 30 day fitness challenge your peer group may be supportive of your choices but they will probably still expect you to hang like you used to. The peer pressure to go out and have fun is always there and just because you have decided to live a healthier lifestyle does not mean that you cannot go out and have fun, you will just have to have some tools to avoid the inevitable peer pressure you may feel when you go to old haunts with your friends. It is important to remember that going out once a week and eating and drinking whatever we want to excess will seriously impeded our results. The peer pressure can be hard to combat but with the proper strategy you can do it. Here are 6 tips to overcoming peer pressure and staying on track to a fitter and healthier you!
6 Tips for Overcoming Peer Pressure
Make Sure you are committed to yourself and your goals.
Before we go any further into this list this needs to be addressed. You need to be committed to yourself and your goals in order to have success. This does not mean that you are not susceptible to peer pressure it simply means that you want to put up a fight and that working on your health and fitness is important to you. Being absolutely committed is the first step to being able to overcome the peer pressure from people trying to get you to eat unhealthy foods and drink unhealthy beverages when you are out. If the people you associate with are not on the health and fitness train like you they may try to get you to cheat on your plan and join them in a little bit food and beverage based craziness.This is not sating they are bad people or that they are even a negative influence on you. When we make changes in our lives it can take some time for the people around us to adjust to the new us. They can expect us to engage in old behaviors and this can lead to some serious peer pressure as you embark on your healthier lifestyle. If you are truly committed to yourself and your goals then you will have the will power to resist the temptation by employing a few new empowering tools.
Workout before you go out.
This is my go-to peer pressure buster. Working out before you go meet up with the girls serves to reinforce your lifestyle change. I know that after I push myself through and Insanity Max 30 workout or a super sweaty yoga flow from Beachbody on Demand I do not want to undo all of that hard work I just put in by eating a bunch of crap. I think of it as putting some money in the bank towards the body and life that I want. This is why I will generally push myself through an extra hard workout before I have to go to a party or get together and especially when I am on the road and will be bombarded by crazy food choices and peer pressure pushing me to indulge more than necessary. It is much easier for me to say no to the temptations I face when I am out when I have done something that reminds me of my commitment to myself and my results. Challenge yourself before you go out and you will be better equipped to push that peer pressure to the side and you will be stacking the success of getting your workout in on top of the success of making positive food choices and you will feel even better about yourself.
Eat Before You go.
Bummer right? Not really, this is a move that you will feel good about when the night winds down. When everyone meets up for wine and tapas and you just ate you are way less likely to make a poor food choice because it simply looks good or because everyone else is eating something. If you have goals to make serious improvements in your health and fitness it will take sacrifices, this is a fact, but those sacrifices will be worth it in the long run. The peer pressure of going out to eat with a bunch of people may be mitigated if you decide to eat before hand and then just order a salad and a sparkling water with lime when you get to the restaurant. It is up to you to do everything you can to build a shield against the peer pressure you will face when out. Showing up somewhere starving will likely make it tough to stick to your guns when people start pressuring you to have some appetizers, snacks, chips, or booze.
Change your destination.
If all of your friends want to go to the bar and BS for the evening while grazing on bar food and drinking craft beer you may want to organize something else. Take the lead and spice things up a bit. How about going to a climbing gym and trying a climbing class? Miniature Golf? A running club? How about going to yoga or getting together for a BOD workout in the park? You could go hiking or for a bike ride. You could even just meet up for some Cards Against Humanity and a movie at your house.There are a lot of options besides the usual meet ups that will make it easier to make healthy choices and maybe even be a positive influence on those around you. This is a great chance to expand your group of friends by trying new activities and also get your friends and you into some fun new stuff!
Pick the place to eat.
If you decide to go out and you do not want to or do not have time to eat before you go then you can always pick the place you and your friends go. There may still be peer pressure to eat some things that are not on your plan but you will know what healthy options you have before hand and can make a plan before you go. Use the tools at your disposal to try new healthy places and be sure to check reviews and look at menus online before you go. I want to tell you to also never be afraid to order off the menu anywhere you go. Even if your friends give you some grief for ordering a grilled chicken breast and spinach salad you will feel great for sticking to your guns. An added bonus for you is that it is always good to be a positive example to your peer group. This leads us to the final tip…
If you can’t beat ’em… have ’em join you!
If the temptations around every corner are too much for you or your friends are just too persuasive than combat the peer pressure with some good old-fashioned peer pressure of your own. Get your friends to join you in your new healthy choices and you can all build confidence and feel great together. There is nothing wrong with doing a little diet bet with your friends or starting some other form of healthy competition. This will turn the peer pressure into a positive thing!