Written by Sarah Louise and Bill Wynne • Updated March 10, 2022
17 tips for maintaining a social life while dieting
Staying on track with your fitness goals might seem difficult while trying to maintain a social life involving cocktails, restaurants and weekend takeaways.
But it is possible to maintain a social life without ruining your diet. You definitely need to learn the importance of moderation, but by introducing these 17 tips, you’ll be rewarding yourself with not only your fitness progress but a healthy social life too.
#1 Moderate, but don't cut out your social life ☝🏼
I know it’s easy to have an all-or-nothing mindset, but maintaining a healthy social life is great for morale, motivation and a positive mindset. A healthy mind is just as important as healthy eating. So be moderate - you don’t have to go clubbing every week even if your friends do.
Learning how to carry on a social life while on your fitness journey will help you maintain your hard-earned results in the long run.
#2 Eat lighter before dining out 🥗
If it’s not a sit-down dinner you’re invited to but instead just lots of people hovering around a grill or a snack table, chances are no one’s actually watching what you eat. Nor are they expecting you to eat anything - the snacks are just there out of formality.
Have a light meal beforehand so you don’t feel the need to graze the snack table in order to satisfy your appetite, but still have space if there’s any snacks you feel rude saying no to.
#3 Eat more protein & veggies 🥙
Annoyingly, a lot of what tastes good when eating out is a lot higher in carbs and fats than it is in protein. So, to still hit your protein target for the day & to save space for the extra carbs and fats, make sure to pack in plenty of protein and vegetables throughout the day before going out.
Top tip! Protein keeps you full for longer so it will help regulate appetite if your goal is to lose weight.
#4 Track your dinner in the morning 📱
If you’re tracking calories and have a specific calorie-target you’re aiming to stay below, it can really help tracking the calories for your expected dinner, already in the morning.
This way you can see exactly how many calories that leaves you for the rest of the day, as well as any slight changes you should make to your evening meal to make it fit your daily “calorie budget”
#5 Make healthy swaps dining out 🍽
There are so many small healthy tweaks to be made to meals at a restaurant. Read our guide with "12 tips for eating healthy at restaurants".
#6 It's okay to say no 🤚🏼
It can feel rude to say no to food that is served, but sometimes the host can go a bit overboard with both appetiser, dinner, dessert, drinks AND snacks. Remember it’s okay to say no to having dessert. It’s okay to just stick to one drink. And it’s okay to not even have any snacks.
Without sounding rude, you can let the others know you’re feeling full, you’re not the biggest fan of chocolate fudge (or whatever the desert is), or simply let everyone know you’re on a fitness journey at the moment.
Trust me, people will admire your willpower and the fact that you’re chasing your fitness goals. Just you wait!
#7 Swap out the salty snacks 🍿
We all know this.. Anything salty is really hard to stop snacking on once you start. There’s a reason we can’t resist the crisps, peanuts or popcorn… The biggest tip of all, is to not even start snacking on them because you know it will be hard to stop. Do the "10-minutes-later version of you" a favour.
#8 Plan ahead to avoid the hangover 🥴
Before going out, set a limit to how many drinks you’re going to have. None of us like to pay the price for a great night out. A hangover - or just feeling bloated - isn’t going to help you keep on track with workouts or to stick to healthy choices the next day.
Tip: Try alternating between alcoholic drinks and soda water. If you’re drinking spirits, ask for singles instead of doubles or swap tonic water for soda water. Tiny changes can make big differences!
#9 Embrace the big occasions 🥳
To avoid FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), it can be wise to pick a few big occasions where you can put aside your goals for the day. Christmas, your birthday, New Year’s Eve… the ones where you’re most likely to make memories.
Remember, a fitness journey is all about the healthy balance!
#10 Surround yourself with likeminded people ❤️
It's okay to outgrow clubbing and getting drunk every weekend.
One of the easiest ways to manage social occasions is to socialise with those who support your goals, even if they’re not fussed about fitness. They’re more likely to encourage you to stick to healthy habits while out, and want to celebrate your progress with you. Better yet, get them involved with your fitness journey!
#11 Ask to help with the cooking 🥘
This one isn’t always going to be possible, but if you’re eating with friends or ordering a takeaway, ask if you can help prepare the food. This way you know what’s in the food you’re eating, and you might even be helping your friends with healthy swaps they weren’t even aware of - it’s a win-win!
#12 Don't treat it like a "cheat day" 🍕
Even though you might be taking a break from high-protein or low-fat meals, it doesn’t mean you should treat this day as a complete write-off and go overboard. Remember to still be moderate in your treats and not undo your hard work so you have to play catch-up the next day.
Manage your fitness journey with trainn
Embracing healthy habits before, during and after your social occasions can massively help you enjoy yourself while keeping up with your great fitness progress.
The trainn app lets you pick healthy habits every week to boost your fitness journey. Your personal trainer will know all about balancing a healthy social life with your workouts and build you a personalised workout plan that fits your lifestyle.
If you’re ready to start seeing the results you want at the gym, click below to get a 14 day FREE trial with your personalised training plan 👇🏼
#13 Make your social occasions more active 👫🏼
There’s many ways of being sociable without having to go out for dinner or drinks. Perhaps suggest catching up over a long walk or a run. You can also ask your friends to come to the gym with you or try out bouldering. Doing something activity-based will give you lots of fun memories and something to laugh about.
#14 Catch up on sleep 🥱
If you want to keep your body at its healthiest and feel fully recharged for a new day, don’t skip sleep after a late night. Enjoy that extra hour in bed instead of forcing yourself up early for the gym - your workout will be just that bit better. Fun fact: sleeping burns calories too.
#15 Get back on the grind 💪🏼
Just because you’ve had one night off doesn’t mean the rest of your week has to be unproductive. Don’t wait till it reaches Monday again. Make healthy choices beginning at the breakfast table: the longer you put off getting back into routine, the less motivated you’ll feel.
Tip: Starting the day with a nutrient-rich smoothie is such an easy way to put some good stuff back into your body and quickly.
#16 Talk it through with a personal trainer 🏋🏽♀️
A personal trainer is so much more than their workout plans. They too know what it’s like to juggle a social life with a fitness routine, so chances are they have years’ worth of tips on how they uphold their progress. They’ll also help personalise your workouts to accommodate your social life.
#17 Remember, nobody's perfect 😌
We all have the kind of nights which go on a bit longer or a bit heavier than we intended them to… but that’s absolutely fine. Yes, you have goals and you want to hold yourself accountable to these, but when you’re working hard most of the time it doesn’t hurt your progress to reward yourself and switch off.