If you’re new to intermittent fasting for weight loss, you probably have so many questions rolling around your mind.
It’s so commonplace for people to eat all around the clock at any given time, every day.
Even though intermittent fasting has gained steam and popularity in recent months and years, most people still aren’t quite yet on the trolley.
As such, even if you’ve made a rock-solid commitment to intermittent fasting on whatever schedule of your choice, one thing stands to get in your way – social pressure.
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Social Pressure While Intermittent Fasting
In case you’re new to this and don’t understand how intermittent fasting works, in a nutshell, you restrict when you eat rather than what you eat.
A typical fasting schedule is the 16/8 intermittent fasting diet plan.
Where you fast for 16 hours of the day, and eat all your day’s food within a consecutive 8-hour window.
This basically means you skip breakfast, eat lunch after 12 noon, then eat your final meal before 8pm. Wash, rinse, repeat.
It’s one thing to maintain this schedule if you live alone, don’t go out much, and have relatively few social commitments or expectations.
And I guess when we’re all social distancing and spending more time on our own, there’s no problem.
But what about during normal times? Or when you live with people who don’t understand or support what you’re trying to do?
Social pressure can crop up at any time – and it’s a challenge more often than not.
Think about it.
When you have something in your life that requires a lot of focus, it can be very distracting to have to deal with obligations that can put you within feet of temptation.
So when you want to stick to your schedule but your roommate or significant other orders pizza at 10pm on a Friday night… Do you keep fasting?
Or when you go back to the office and delicious bagels & cream cheese or donuts are catered for breakfast. Everybody expects you to indulge, don’t they?
What do you do?
How do you get through these types of events and survive social pressure while fasting?
Today I’ll share a few points for you to consider.
How To Handle Social Pressure While Fasting
1- You’ll Have to Make a Sacrifice During Social Situations
This is going to be a hard pill to swallow, but honesty is the best policy here.
The truth is that you’ll have to make a sacrifice if you want to succeed.
The reality is that you probably shouldn’t go to all of the functions that you’ve been invited to out of pressure.
Is the progress that you’ve experienced worth the time that you’ve spent?
You might just have started, so what can you do?
The answer is to make more space and time in your life for the fast.
In many cases, you choose some social functions over others.
There will be some activities with friends where just drinking water isn’t actually a big deal.
With others, where food and drinks are involved, maybe you just adjust your fasting and eating window that day.
Plan it into your life and schedule so that you can stay on target.
Trust me, it’s worth it!
2- Choose Wisely
Once you have determined what is motivating you, it’s a good time to think seriously about what functions you know you’ll have to attend.
These fall more into the category of big stuff like weddings and birthdays.
It’s never a good idea to pass on something that could damage your relationships with others or cause you to miss out on something important in your life.
Maybe smaller functions that don’t fit in well with your fasting schedule, you can pass on those.
Remember that intermittent fasting is there to help you, not to control your every action. Limiting how much external control others have over you can also be a really good thing.
More time spent developing yourself can be a more than a worthy reason to take your time and invest it into yourself and the things that you really want to do.
3- Take Some Time to Make Adjustments
The easiest way to handle social obligations is to adjust your fasting on those days, especially when you can plan ahead.
If you typically begin eating around 1pm, but your friends want you to go to brunch at 11am and you know you’ll begin eating at 11:30, then you can simply start fasting a couple hours earlier the night before, allowing you to get your full fast in and enjoy brunch without having to stress about it.
4- Give Yourself An Out
Finally, this may seem counterintuitive like you’re planning to fail, but let’s face it – mistakes happen.
Nobody is perfect.
The truth is that once you start a new diet or plan like intermittent fasting, motivation is at an all-time-high.
You might lose a bunch of weight in the early days and be going smoothly, then some social pressure or other life event hits and boom – you fall off the wagon.
It’s so important to think about what you’ll do if you fail to remain strong during off-times.
First, you’ll do no good to beat yourself up if you do make a mistake.
You’re only human, and changing your physique and lifestyle is no small feat – even if it is made easier through intermittent fasting.
Make a promise to yourself that if hard times come and you fall off the wagon, you won’t beat yourself over the head about it.
But that’s not all…
You must also promise not to throw away an entire day, weekend, week or month because of a slip-up.
Let’s say one morning a friend pressures you into getting breakfast earlier than you’d like.
Imagine you eat something totally fattening and calorie-dense at 9am instead of fasting until noon like you’re supposed to.
How do you react?
Do you throw your hands up and say “welp, I messed up already might as well make it count!”, then proceed to eat as much as you can as fast as you can the rest of the day and part of the next?
You dust yourself off and pick right back up with your fasting window and dietary plan.
That, my friend, is the real key to success at this.
Knowing not to mentally abuse yourself for your foibles, and then take personal responsibility to avoid letting a slip-up turn into falling apart altogether.
At the end of the day, intermittent fasting is but one trick in your toolbox to help you lose weight and keep it off.
It does help to make things easier, yet there will still be challenges along the way.
It’s up to you how you handle them, though.
It’s your choice.
Decide what’s most important to you at any given time, and go in the direction that is most likely to get you where you’re trying to go.
And remember – if you fail, pick yourself back up and continue where you left off right away!
A setback doesn’t have to be a total derailment.
Good luck, and happy fasting!
Intermittent Fasting Tracker
Though you don’t have to count calories, you WILL want to track your fasting hours, workouts, and take notes on how you’re feeling, what’s working and what’s not.
I personally found many fitness planners that would track one thing but not the other, as they weren’t geared specifically toward intermittent fasting.
Frustrated, I chose to create the perfect intermittent fasting planner to suit my needs, and it’s available on Amazon Prime if you’d like to grab a copy of your own!
It has everything you need to get started losing weight with intermittent fasting, including a place to track your measurements, 12 weeks of sheets to log your daily fasting hours, pages to track your strength training and cardio workouts each day, space for notes, and a slot for before and after pictures.
Plus, it’s small enough to fit in your purse or gym bag.
It really has been the perfect solution for me, and I use it every day to stay on top of my goals. It’s helped me stay focused and organized – which is so important on this weight loss journey.
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How to Handle Social Occasions While Intermittent Fasting