One difficulty many people have when trying to curb their overeating is that much of our daily activities revolve around food when we’re not even hungry. We grab snacks while watching our favourite TV shows, we catch up with friends by going to coffee shops while mindlessly sipping 400 calorie coffees or going to pubs and knocking back some drinks. A typical date consists of dinner and a movie where you’ll probably still have popcorn even after you’re stuffed and family celebrations usually involve people sitting around the table with the most food .
Now, I do admit that I am quite a foodie. I love cooking and the traditions behind it but when you struggle with overeating or have an unhealthy relationship with food, it’s important to separate yourself until you can better handle these situations. Here are five things you can do to swap out an eating tradition with something just as fun without it ruining your health goals!
1. Work out instead of going for coffee/drinks.
I know we all like to go out for coffee or drinks with our friends to chat and catch up but why not make a workout date instead? If you both love spinning, make a date to go for a spin session instead of high calorie coffees and alcohol? One of my favourite things to do with my BFF is go for a run. Not only does this give us ample time to catch up on each others’ lives but I think it makes us closer because we have to work as a team to keep each other motivated. When we run together, we see each other in a different light and we’re encouraging each other in our healthy behaviours!
I can’t tell you how many friends I’ve met by asking them to go for a run with me or go to a class! It’s so much fun!
2. Become a tourist in your own city!
This is great for any occasion! Whether it’s catching up with a friend, going on a date or wanting to do something with the kids, instead of going to a restaurant, try something different! Go online and research events in your city that may be fun or do something you’ve been meaning to do for a while. Is there a new exhibit at the museum you’ve been wanting to check out? Have you ever taken a tour of your own city? Go hop on a cheesy bus and see your city through the eyes of a tourist! Make a list of all the things you’ve wanted to do in your town and start checking them off one by one every chance you get!
3. Get outta town!
Hop in the car and go exploring or hiking! Roadtrips seem to be disappearing these days and it’s a shame! Some of my favourite childhood memories are of my father announcing on a lazy Sunday afternoon that we’re all to get in the car and he’d take us out to some new and interesting place just outside of town that we never knew existed! I learned a lot about old quarries and magnetic hills this way! Tear yourself and your family away from their gadgets and go for a drive, even if they complain at the time, they’ll remember it later!
I am a huge supporter of this growing movement! Did you know that, right at this moment, your town is exploding with little hidden treasures in trees, behind signs, under rocks and other places? Geocaching is an activity that you can do alone or in a group where people have hidden little caches in certain areas and then recorded their coordinates. Your job is to get the coordinates and find them, record yourself in the log book, add something to the cache and put it back! It’s quite literally treasure hunting and is the most fun you’ll have in a long while AND a great way to get you and your family active! To maximize your time, make it a “rule” that you have to be able to walk to the cache sites and you’ll find yourself wandering your town, other towns, parks, beaches, everywhere for hours!
This is an activity that my fiancé and I picked up during the summer as a way to do something together yet get active and it’s a great relationship building experience on top of getting a great workout in and having loads of fun!
5. Get stuff done!
Do you have growing list of things to get done around the house? Get everyone involved! Talk with your friends and family to see what they also need to get done in their own homes and make plans to help each other out. If you have a basement that needs cleaning, have them come and help you out and in return, instead of the typical pizza and beer, you’ll agree to go to their house and help them with their basement or painting or whatever else needs doing. Not only will this help you get some quality time with friends and family, you’re doing each other a favour to get some much-needed stuff done around the house and that, to me, is much more meaningful than stuffing my face at a restaurant or not even talking at all while watching a movie!
I think we rely too much on food to give us something to do when we spend time with others or try to get to know them but I can tell you from experience that you never really know someone until you actually do something with them! You discover strengths, weaknesses, character and so much more within that person when you’re engaged in an activity that you’d never find over a coffee or dinner. You’ll also find that your relationships become stronger if you engage in activities that require some team work!