20 Ways to Socialize without Food

In the journey to making peace with food, one of the most common difficulties is finding ways to make eating less of a focus in your life. Taking control of emotional eating is critical, but even if you’re not stress eating or boredom eating, social situations and celebrations can be challenging. The food is everywhere and we live in a culture that encourages us to over-indulge at just about every holiday or social event.

What’s a smart woman to do? It can take a bit of creativity and proactive planning, but it is possible to fill your social calendar without overeating and without feeling deprived because you aren’t. Here’s a “What to do instead of eating” list of ideas to get you started:

What to Do Instead of Eating – 20 Ways to Socialize and Celebrate Without Food

  1. Join the fun instead of being a bystander. If you’re at the pool – get wet, Get in the pool or the lake. If you’re feeling self-conscious, remind yourself that life’s too short not to play.
  2. Go bowling.
  3. Volunteer as a group. The options are endless. You can help build a house, cheer at a finish line, help out at the Humane Society, or help adults learn to read. Volunteering alone feels good. Doing it with friends can be awesome.
  4. Pull out the board games or a deck of cards. Host a Scrabble® or Monopoly® tournament. If you are feeling flexible, you can even revisit Twister®.
  5. Go to a movie together. Notice that not everyone buys popcorn. Add up how much you’ll be saving by not eating and commit to spending it on a non-food treat.
  6. Dance. There are lots of options here from hosting a party in your living room to taking tango lessons or going line dancing.
  7. Go for a hike.
  8. Talk your friends into learning something that’s new for all of you and take a class together.
  9. Paint. Whether it’s painting pottery or s still life, or finger painting, you might just have a blast.
  10. Get pampered together. Go for pedicures or massages together.
  11. Play golf – whether it’s 18 holes, miniature golf, or a trip to the driving range, golf gets you outside, and the worse you play, the more time you get to spend together (grin).
  12. Get out the yard games. Remember croquet and bocce ball and lawn darts? Host a retro lawn party.
  13. Pull out your crafts – with friends. Invite your friends over to scrapbook or make jewelry. If you’ve got a closet of “in progress” projects, consider hosting a “finish up your unfinished project” night.
  14. Go to a comedy or improv show.
  15. Step outside your comfort zone – together. Challenge your friends to make lists of things they’ve always wanted to do but haven’t quite found the nerve. Then support the heck out of each other and work through the list.
  16. Go shopping in your closets or hold a clothing or accessory swap.
  17. Learn together – attend a lecture or a book or poetry reading.
  18. Go on a yard sale tour or spend the day visiting antique or consignment stores.
  19. Take your cameras and go somewhere – anywhere. If you are camera shy, you’ll be more relaxed and at ease goofing off with friends.
  20. Go to a museum.

Don’t stop here. For best results, use my “Instead of eating” list to get your own ideas percolating. What would you add to this list?

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