How to attend parties (without sacrificing your fitness goals). Group of people gathered for a rooftop party.

4 Tips to Lose Weight and Have a Social Life

nutrition Oct 07, 2022

No matter what time of year it is, there is always some party, holiday, or event that you'll have to navigate while working towards your health and fitness goals. Rather than stressing about how you're going to navigate social events, you should feel empowered and confident in doing so because what's life without a slice of pie?

But it's not just the holidays, vacations, and special occasions that can make losing weight or achieving other fitness goals challenging. Sometimes, your social life makes things harder than they need to be.

Your social life isn't an issue because you need to severely restrict or deprive yourself, but because you might be around people who don't understand why you choose healthy eating and exercise over drinking alcohol and eating treats.⁣

This puts you in the uncomfortable position of feeling like you have to explain yourself⁣, or you might end up eating and drinking more than usual and moving less simply because you don't want to make anyone uncomfortable.

Regardless of whether you're celebrating the holidays, a birthday, or anything else, you don't have to give up your healthy habits to please others. 

Just like you don't expect your loved ones to justify why they choose to hang out on the couch after a big dinner, you don't need to justify why you want to move your body, eat healthy, nourishing foods, and drink less. And even if it is a little awkward, remember that most people in your life want you to succeed, even if they don't have the same goals as you.

Is Losing Weight While Having a Social Life Possible?

Trying to lose weight does not mean you have to give up your social life. Spending time with friends and family is important, and if you're making a lifestyle change, you have to learn to balance socialization with your healthy lifestyle; otherwise, you won't be able to maintain your results.

Parties, vacations, and social life in general can bring some frustrations and hesitations when you're working toward any fitness goal (whether you're trying to lose weight or build muscle).

Here's the thing: You spend countless hours putting in the work, tracking your food, eating your veggies, getting your steps in, training hard in the gym, getting quality sleep, and drinking enough water. But while you are doing all of these things, don't forget that the purpose behind this work is to create a life that you get to experience to its fullest and enjoy every minute of WHILE crushing your goals.

There will be events that make the above more challenging, but it's not impossible to stick to healthy habits while having fun.

How to Achieve Fitness Goals and Enjoy a Party

What if you could develop some skills and strategies to keep in your back pocket so that you can feel successful and enjoy yourself? YES, this stuff is a skill, and you (anyone!) can develop this skill!

At KJO Coaching, we aim to give our clients the autonomy to choose how they navigate social events while we provide guidance and support so they can still reach their goals.

These are some of the tips we encourage our clients to follow to help them navigate social events without feeling like they're sacrificing their weight loss (or any other) fitness goals. 

These are small changes you can implement that will make achieving your goals significantly easier.

1. Stick to the One Plate Rule

If you're attending a social event with a buffet or potluck meal, look at the food options and decide what you'd like to eat before grabbing any food. When you put food on your plate, make sure that it fits comfortably. 

You don't want a plate that's overflowing with food. 

Aim to fill half of your plate with protein and vegetables to stay full for longer. This will also help you increase your confidence and feel more in control of your decisions. 

Also, if you have the option to choose the size of your plate, shoot for the small or medium-sized plate as opposed to the big platter plates. Research shows that the size of the plate we use influences how much we end up eating! 

2. Work Backwards When Tracking Calories and Macros

If you're counting calories or tracking macros, get a head start before you even get to the event. 

If you have a big meal planned for dinner or aren't sure what the afternoon will look like, track that meal first and plan accordingly for the rest of your day. 

For example, if the dinner and drinks you will have in the evening are about 1,000 calories and your daily goal is 2,000 calories, split the remaining 1,000 calories into your breakfast, lunch, and snacks. I get that you don't always know what you'll eat at an event, but that doesn't mean you can't estimate what you will eat and drink and be prepared. 

Load up on protein, veggies, and lower fat options for the beginning part of your day, and reserve a solid amount of your calories for dinner. 

I also highly recommend adding in your staples for the day to stay consistent with them. This refers to things like protein powder, workout nutrition, bedtime snacks, greens, etc. Just because you're going to be at an event that focuses on more fun foods doesn't mean you should neglect nutrient-dense foods beforehand.

3. Enjoy and Pause

Typically, overeating occurs when you eat mindlessly. You know, when you're standing by the snack table and chatting with friends while you wait for the food to be ready. Sound familiar?

Implementing the "enjoy and pause" trick can help prevent overeating. Enjoy your meal and give yourself 10-15 minutes before you go back for seconds. Have a conversation with someone, people watch, take a walk, or do anything else you please. 

The purpose of this is to allow your body to settle and then for you to listen to your hunger cues. You may realize you are no longer hungry and don't need to grab another plate or drink and can focus on the other things happening around you. But if after your pause you still want a second plate, go ahead!

This method allows you to be more in control of your choices and reduces the likelihood of you feeling uncomfortably full by the time you're done, which is particularly helpful if your goal is weight loss.

4. Don't Miss Twice

We've all been there and have indulged more than we intended to, and that's okay! Life happens!

Sometimes, we drink a little more than planned. Other times, we eat a little more than planned. One off day or meal doesn't mean we'll lose all the progress we've made with our diet.

When that happens, the best thing you can do is to move on and get back into your regular eating habits as soon as possible. The aim is not to miss TWO back-to-back meals. 

None of the "I'll get back on track next week" mindset, and definitely no need to think you're a failure — because you are not, and occasional indulgences are normal.

For example, you may go out to lunch with friends, and you guys get lost in a good time and end up going wayyyy overboard with apps, entrees, drinks, and cap it off with ice cream on the way home. 

You had a normal breakfast and a BIG lunch, so for dinner, aim to get back to what you would typically eat. 

Do that, and you're back on track without missing out on a fun time with your friends.

Get Help with Your Goals

You don't have to give up alcohol, sugar, or parties when pursuing weight loss. You can diet and still make progress. The key difference is that when you don't restrict these things, you'll make sustainable progress as opposed to repeatedly going through the weight loss and gain cycle.

Finding the balance between enjoying events with friends and family while also improving your health and fitness can be challenging. I've always found that working with a coach is helpful for achieving goals. 

At KJO Coaching, we pride ourselves on not only guiding our clients through obstacles but teaching them how to overcome those obstacles so they can continue to make decisions that support their goals even after they stop working with us. 

If you're interested in working with one of the incredible KJO coaches, click here to learn more about our coaching philosophy and how we can help you achieve your health, fitness, and mindset goals. 

If you want help optimizing your nutrition, click here and DM me the phrase “CALCULATE MACROS,” and I’ll send you custom calorie and macro targets based on your goals for FREE.

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Wansink, B., & van Ittersum, K. (2013). Portion size me: plate-size induced consumption norms and win-win solutions for reducing food intake and waste. Journal of experimental psychology. Applied, 19(4), 320–332.

Hi, I'm Kasey!

I coach, mentor, write, and teach with one main focus: Build strong bodies and healthy lifestyles, starting with your mindset.


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