How to Navigate Social Situations While Fasting

Do we have to sacrifice our social life while fasting? We’ll help you navigate those social situations with some simple strategies.

  • Published: 8/16/2023
  • 3 min. read

As the week comes to an end, your social calendar starts to fill up; yippy! Yet you notice a little stress creeping up, thinking about sacrificing your intermittent fasting goals. You’ve been doing so well but how can you stay on track while meeting for meals or drinks? We’ll set you up for fasting success with strategies to stay social.

What is intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that focuses on when you eat versus what you eat. During fasting times, there’s low to no calories consumed. Common methods include alternating fasting days, fasting for two days per week, and daily time-restricted fasting such as the 16:8 plan (1). One of the main benefits is that you can choose which intermittent fasting plan works best for you and adjust it to your lifestyle and social situations. 

Why stick to a fasting routine?

If you find that fasting works for you, great! You’ll likely want to stick to it due to the potential associated benefits such as improving weight loss, insulin response, and other health related markers which may reduce disease risk (2). But when faced with peer pressure, other schedules, and social activities that involve food and drink, it can be tricky to stick to your plan.

How to navigate social situations while fasting

Flex your fast window 

Intermittent fasting is meant to work with your lifestyle, not against it. When you allow yourself to flex it every now and then, you can maintain your healthy path while maneuvering life and social situations. Say you have a date set on your calendar to meet friends for dinner at 7:00pm. Simply adjust your eating time so you start the eating clock later; for example starting to eat at 1:00pm if you’re on the 16:8 plan. If you’re doing 5:2 or alternative days, schedule social events on your eating days. It can be helpful to share your healthy intermittent plan with your friends so they understand your need to adjust meetups.

Make it mindful 

Peer pressure and downing drinks can easily cloud our judgment. Staying mindful will help you stick to your success. Mindful eating is about bringing full awareness to the eating experience (3). So even when you’re out on the town, pay attention to what you’re eating and drinking. Check in whether you’re consuming because others are or if you’re actually still hungry. Make satisfying choices and check your hunger and fullness levels by putting your fork down half way through the meal and keeping your alcohol intake to a minimum. 

Social activity switch 

Social activities don’t have to include eating. What’s important is that you’re spending time with the people you love. Take the initiative to switch it up with an activity such as walking, biking, or swimming. Activate your creative side by attending a craft class or organize one in the comfort of your own home. If your favorite people insist on drinking, swap an alcoholic beverage for an intermittent fasting friendly drink like flavored, unsweetened sparkling water. 

Enjoy occasionally

Intermittent fasting, or any healthy eating plan, is not about the all-or-nothing approach. It’s about tuning into your body and what makes you feel your personal best. It can be mentally and physically nourishing to take an occasional break and fully enjoy the eating experience with friends or family. So, rather than being “on” or “off” the health train, think of intermittent fasting as a long term habit change. 

Wellness as a lifestyle 

Living a sustainable and successful lifestyle comes down to working with your current situation and personal preferences. You should do the activities you love, versus against them. A healthy plan such as intermittent fasting is best achieved when you embrace flexibility and change that is part of life. Long term health and wellness is about the small consistent steps, focusing on the journey. Whenever you need some support along the way, a well-rounded intermittent fasting app like Lifesum is there for you!

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All of the content and media on Lifesum is created and published for information purposes only. It is not intended to be used as a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Users should always consult with a doctor or other health care professional for medical advice. If you have or think you are at risk of developing an eating disorder, do not use the Lifesum app and seek immediate medical help.