When you have a restricted diet, whether it is by choice or not, you may feel isolated when it comes time to sit down and eat. You may even opt to eat alone rather than place your dietary burden on to others. However, this is the wrong way to go and are not considered among good eating habits. Secluding yourself is never a good way to meet your dietary needs and here is why.
Quality of Life
Many studies have shown that sitting down and eating at a table with a group of people has significant mental health benefits and are considered good eating habits. When you sit down with a group or even just with one other person, you share stories, build your relationship and create bonds. You will be more calm and happy when dining with others.
Conversing at the table will also shift your focus from counting calories or calculating sugar quantities in your food to something more intellectually stimulating and enjoyable. Eating and talking go hand in hand after all! People need human interaction to stay well balanced mentally and mealtimes are the perfect opportunity to achieve this.
Seeking out people who are on similar diets is a fantastic idea. You can rest assured that your fellow dieters will not be judgmental of your food choices but extremely supportive, understanding and they will be ordering the same foods as you when out to eat! This will lead to a more relaxed dining experience and, did you know your body actually digests food better when you are relaxed?
Diets Work Better in Groups
If you are eating a restricted diet by choice, you may be interested to learn that numerous studies have shown that dieting with friends, family or even a group of strangers is much more effective than dieting alone. Why? Accountability. While it is easy to convince yourself that one more cookie is a good idea, a stranger in your diet group won’t hesitate to tell you no!
Eating with people who have the same dietary needs as you is the best way to learn more about your food choices. If you are unsure what foods you can and cannot eat (especially when dining out), maybe your friend can help guide you. Maybe someone in your family can pass along some useful recipes. Or maybe someone in your diet group will push you to try new interesting food. Eating together can help educate you about food in general and thereby help you stick to your diet needs.
Your diet should never segregate you from the dinner table, in fact, it should actually help build your relationships. So if you need to eat gluten-free, find others in your area who also eat gluten-free diets and plan dinner. Ask your aunt Sally who only eats low carb foods out to lunch. Invite your family over for a home-cooked vegan meal. Social dieting is the best way to stick to your diet goals, educate yourself about your diet and also help improve your quality of life.