What to do when all your friends are dieting (and you don’t want to!)

what to do when all your friends are dieting

Today I’d like to talk about what to do when all your friends are dieting…and you don’t want to! This comes up fairly often within my Facebook group and with my real life friends as well. Here’s a little video I recorded all about it! If you prefer reading, just jump past the video for the usual written blog post.

A lot of us who’ve chosen not to follow a traditional diet and who understand that healthy living is a lifestyle and that there’s no start date and end date, can find it quite tricky when a lot of their friends or colleagues are doing some of the big diets. These might be Weight Watchers, Slimming World or perhaps something like the Cambridge diet. Whatever set way of eating they might be following, certainly in the beginning, people can be quite evangelical about it and want to share what they’re doing and want to bring other people into it so they don’t feel so alone. Or they want to get reassurance that they’re doing the right thing.

It can be really hard when you know that these kinds of things don’t work for you, either because of experience or because it just doesn’t fit with what you believe in. It can be tricky because it can seem like everyone’s doing it!

On the other side of it, if you do see friends and colleagues who are doing these kinds of diets and are successfully losing weight for the moment at least, it can make you question your own decision to not do that type of thing, and it can make you really tempted to go and try it or to go back to it if it’s something you’ve done before.

So what do we do when we find ourselves in this situation? How do you handle it if you’re really committed to staying on the ‘healthy for life’ bandwagon?

Think about why it doesn’t work for you

First of all, it’s really important to have a foundation in place and remind yourself why it is that diets don’t work for you. It could be that you’ve already experienced it and it hasn’t been successful for you. I think it was Einstein who said that the definition of insanity is doing something again and again and expecting a different outcome. If something hasn’t worked for you in the past, it’s highly unlikely it’s going to work for you now. That’s a really good thing to remind yourself of.

Also, think about what sucks about following these kinds of diets: the restriction, the loss of joy of food, the ‘all or nothingness’, the mindset stuff, the relationship with food bullshit. Remind yourself of all of these reasons and reconnect with them. Remind yourself of why it’s a load of pants.

Be prepared

Another good tip is to have some comebacks ready for those people. This can vary in ‘nastiness’ shall we say, depending on what they’re like and whether or not you like them. You can be quite gentle and say, “That’s really good for you, but I’ve tried it and it doesn’t work for me.” Just move on.

Sometimes you can ghost her out and ignore it – carry on and don’t even respond to it, and that way they’ll probably stop talking to you about it.

Or you can come back and say, “I don’t want to do it because it’s been proven that most people who lose weight on a diet end up putting more of it back on. Did you know that?” Like I say, it’s a bit harsh because if someone wants to get healthier and lose weight, good for them, even if it might not be the best way in the long run. 

With that in mind the alternative could be saying, “If Weight Watchers doesn’t work for you, I follow a healthy lifestyle for life. If that’s something you’re interested in finding out more about, talk to me later on.” Putting out that message to people is really positive.

Remember it’s a journey

Another thing is to remind yourself that it’s their journey. Many of us who come round to this way of being healthy for life, of eating well and having balance in our lives, have already been through that and we’ve learnt through the process. It might be that for this person, this is their journey and they need to experience it themselves. It ties back nicely to offering that hand and saying, “This is the approach that I’m working on at the moment.” I think ‘working on’ is a really good phrase because it is a working process. That’s quite a good way to remind yourself that it’s their journey and that’s fine. At the end of the day, if they are successful and they lose weight then that’s brilliant because obviously they’ve found something that works for them. It’s about being as positive as you can about it and offering them this alternative way that you’re doing it.

Find your community

Then finally, it’s really helpful to find your own community. I’m really passionate about this and if anyone would like to, do go and join my Facebook group because it’s the best Facebook group in the world! I would say that, but it’s full of so many amazing, fantastic women who are all dealing with our stuff, and we’re all doing it together in a really supportive community.

That’s what inspired The Balance Club, which is my fantastic club that’s coming soon and it’s an upgraded membership version of the blog and Facebook group. We’re going to have guest experts in there, we’re going to have a private member’s website where you can get extra recipes, meal plans, Sunday cook-up flows and workouts as well, with the lovely Laura Cutress who is my personal-trainer-partner-in-crime. Check out LC Personal Training if you’re looking for that kind of thing. The Balance Club’s going to be amazing. That’s my promise because I think one of the great things about a lot of these diets is they have a community behind it. People can really benefit from community so I wanted to create something that still has community support and accountability, but was not about counting points or syns or any of that bullshit. This is about living life and being really healthy and balanced.

When your friends or colleagues are dieting and you don’t want to, it is a tricky situation. There’s a triggering that you feel in yourself and you might think maybe you should go back, even though you know it hasn’t worked for you in the past. If you get to that point, find your community, post in your community about how you’re feeling and let that support be there for you.

Have you found it difficult when all your friends are dieting? How to you deal with it?

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  • Standard response courtesy of Amy Poehler: Good for her, not for me.

  • Maria B

    I just tend to avoid talking about it- with a mainly female workforce there are always conversations about dieting- avocados being “fattening” and all this nonsense. I have realised that people will not change their minds from one conversation so I just don’t get involved in those types of chats. I remember once I was having some cottage cheese and someone asked if I was trying to lose weight- no, I just fancied some! All that judgement drives me mad!

    • That’s a great way to deal with it, just don’t get into those convos. Blimey it’s amazing how some people think about food, it’s a shame cottage cheese is seen as a ‘diet’ food

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