Social pressure (holidays, visits, etc.)


(Jane Srygley) #1

I went out with my fiance’s family yesterday for Mother’s Day. I ate a lot of non-keto foods. I have attempted to control myself in the past and have always ended up going off and going nuts. This time I had a half-hearted plan to stick to keto-friendly foods but didn’t. At all.

How do you handle family visits and the social pressure to eat what everyone else is eating? I have a really hard time with this.

TIA :sparkling_heart:


(Sharing the Bacon Love since 2018) #2

@AuntJane how long have you been doing keto?

I found that the longer you’ve been eating this way, the easier it gets to make tough decisions about what to eat. Also, the longer you’ve been doing it, the more your family will know about how you’re eating, and may make it easier to accommodate this.

I FULLY intended to get a chocolate cake for Mother’s Day, yesterday, but I couldn’t get over how much I wanted that cake to taste perfect, and nothing I saw looked like it would live up to my expectations. So, it turned out to be pretty easy to walk away, after all.

The longer you’ve been eating keto, the easier it gets to know what is good and not good to eat, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t find yourself sub-consciously picking keto friendly food, just because you know it will make you feel better.

Most importantly, don’t let a bad day ruin everything for you. We all started somewhere with keto. Today is a new day, and you can always start eating keto again, today.


(Ethan) #3

You have to be comfortable with just not eating these foods and telling people that. I have gotten really good at this, but since I went carnivore, I still struggle with some of the wife’s family. The concept of only meat doesn’t exist; so they cannot even understand what the diet is. Not eating anything can be insulting, especially if there is an attempt to specifically accommodate your way of eating. Though the attempt may miss, I found the best way for me is to be as polite as possible and try not eating the food. If I absolutely cannot avoid eating it, I can fake it well enough.


(Jane Srygley) #4

Thanks! This time, I’m 2 weeks in, but I’ve been dieting in one way or another my whole life (56yo) and this has always been a tough issue for me. I’ve done it many times in the past, but it’s always really hard… and in the past few years, especially with my fiance’s family, I have not been successful. I’m just wondering how others manage it psychologically and socially.


(Marianne) #5

They say people will stop pressing a point after three “no’s.” Whether or not that is true, I don’t have any problem letting people know that I don’t eat something, if they encourage me to eat things I don’t or ask me why I’m not eating what everybody else is. I’ll say, “I’ve found after a long time that I feel better if I stick to protein and vegetables. That is my preference now.” If they encourage me to “try a little something,” I don’t have any trouble saying, “No, thank you, really; I’m perfectly content. This is all delicious [i.e. what I have on my plate],” etc. At 60, I don’t have to explain myself or especially apologize for not eating the same as everyone else. It gets easier. Just look at every social event now as your training ground and good practice. And some occasions will be easier than others, or you may slip. That’s okay.


(George) #6

Just takes a little will-power and an extra minute or so of really analyzing the menu.I went out with my wife and in-laws for mother’s day yesterday too, and while my options were limited at her restaurant of choice (Mexican), there are still always options.

Every single thing on the menu came with a large side of rice and beans, or beans and potatoes. I just give those away to someone else at the table who might want them (in this case it was my son). Knowing that the meat portion on my plate wouldn’t fill me, I also ordered an appetizer which was just bacon wrapped, cream cheese stuffed chili peppers, and split those with my wife.

*Edit - I should have added in that knowing the consequences of bad food choices also helps ALOT. Last weekend I ate badly (not alot, just some mixed drinks mixed w/ soda, a little rice, and some naan bread at an indian place), and I gained 10 lbs., mostly water weight. It took me exactly 7 days, so yesterday morning, to lose that weight, throwing my goal timeline off by 1 week. So that motivated me to not mess up too LOL


(John) #7

I have a personality that does not cave in to social pressures. That does not always serve me well, but in this context, it would.

I also don’t have any family nearby that we regularly associate with, so the issue never comes up.

Was it a situation where someone actually tried to convince or pressure you to eat the wrong things, or did you just do it to look “normal” to everyone and ate whatever was in front of you without trying to modify your choices?

You are going to have to commit to change if you are going to be successful at this, and that may include changes in how you respond in social situations, or how often you participate in them. If you keep eating the same things you have always eaten, but of course for “reasons beyond your control,” nothing is going to change.

Tip: these things are within your control. You just have to decide what you are going to do, and then actually do it.


(Bacon is the new bacon) #8

Depending on the gathering, you may also be able to get away with saying, “Oh, not just yet, thanks,” for the first half, and “Oh, no more, thanks,” during the second half. Granted, that works more easily at a buffet than at a sit-down dinner.

Another strategy, recommended by Miss Manners, is to eat to satiety at home, so you can then say, perfectly honestly, that you’re not really hungry. If pressed, you could then take a small amount of the non-keto food, and then proceed to mess it up on your plate, so no one can tell you haven’t eaten any. If they give you more than a small portion, you can cover yourself by announcing, “Oh, that’s far too much; I’m not going to be able to eat all that.”

Miss Manners also says that if you refuse food politely (i.e., with a “No, thank you”), the burden of rudeness lies on anyone who refuses to take that for an answer. Although in some cultures, good manners requires food to be offered and refused twice, and it is the response to the third offering (“yes, please,” or “no, thank you”) that is definitive.


(Gordon) #9

First I would say, once you do it longer than 2 weeks and fell the difference, you wont consider it a diet and it will be easier, if not easy, as it is now for me. My friends/family wont push much, (they all notice the weight loss, better attitude, and general overall better health) but when they do, I ask them why they want to make me relapse and get back on the drugs. Their heads turn sideways with that whaat? look. I say, to me sugar is a drug and it was killing me. But I will have another slice of that pot roast! :slight_smile:


(Sharing the Bacon Love since 2018) #10

I know this won’t help you, but I just stay at home, mostly. :slight_smile:


(Jody) #11

I was at a wedding on Saturday night and luckily they had a good variety so I was able to grab a salad and protein. I didn’t drink, so I allowed myself to have a piece of plain cheesecake. I would have passed on the wedding cake.

Then I got my butt on the dance floor. :man_dancing:

My morning blood sugar was the same it’s been, so no huge rebound. I know some people can restrict tightly, but I can’t. I just make sure when I eat something with carbs that it’s worth it. I make my choice then move on.


(Door Girl) #12

In the long run, I’m starting to see who is honestly trying to accommodate me and who is trying to sabotage me. Sabotage can be intentional or subconscious.

Take people’s attempts to meet your food needs with grace, and praise the helpful efforts. If they are just too far off the mark, eat ahead of time or offer to bring something to share with everyone that will work for you.

For those who are unable or unwilling to work with you, determine your tolerance. You may be willing to continue to gracefully demur from foods you avoid. You may take a different approach. Or you may avoid sharing food with these people.

I used to be more optimistic about this, but between well meaning confusion and others happily mentioning the sugar in the sauce when you are nearly done, I find it unrealistic to expect others to do an excellent job accommodating our way of eating.

I now plan my days with extra room built in if I have plan for food from others. I don’t toe the line on carbs early on, and make sure I’m not overly hungry and prone to impulse before going to the meal.

I am also shifting social time with some people to non-food events instead of basing our visits around meals.

Be kind to yourself as you figure this out.


(I'll trade you my bacon for your cheese) #13

I can attest to this.

I did the same thing, and I’m not even a mother of a human. It’s not the end of the world. Just get back at it today. The weekend is said and done, and this week is yet to come, so make it one that you can be pleased with, starting today. Doing well today is an insurance policy for being happy about it tomorrow. Days you stay on track, build on each other.

I was raised to not care much what other people think. I fail at this sometimes, but when it comes to eating how I want, I don’t care what people try to pressure me into. In fact, the more persistent someone is in trying to force me to do something, the more I don’t and won’t do it.

The only reason I go off track at a social outing, is because I’m weak in my own strength, or I’ve allowed it beforehand. No one can make me eat cake or carbs or anything; it’s my own resolution or lack thereof, that brings the end result.

If you feel people are pressuring you, one good manic breakdown in tears ought to make them think twice about making you feel badly over it. #BadAdvice


(Carl Keller) #14

If I am offered something carby, I will say “No thank you but I can’t eat sugar and starches.” When they ask why not, I tell them that it causes a lot of inflammation in my body and abstinence keeps me feeling hale and hearty.


(Ethan) #15

It’s not a matter of, “I can restrict tightly,” but one of, “if I do not restrict tightly, I put my entire life in danger.”


(I'll trade you my bacon for your cheese) #16

But when does the cussing come??? :stuck_out_tongue:


(Carl Keller) #17

My family and relatives use cussing in their speech like I use salt on my food. It’s quite flavorful. :stuck_out_tongue:


(Bacon is the new bacon) #18

Just tell them firmly, “None of this God-damned fucking profanity, do you hear me?” :rofl::rofl::rofl:


(I'll trade you my bacon for your cheese) #19

:rofl::rofl::rofl: That’s the spirit!!!


(Empress of the Unexpected) #20

The (overweight) neighbors are always trying to push carbs on me. I politely say no, and mumble something about my doctor. Now, word on the street is that I have an eating disorder. You can’t win for losing.