Jump to content

Specialized Diets and Social Conventions?


DylanAilDon

Recommended Posts

Hey all,

So one of my upcoming goals for a future six week challenge is to start looking into different diets or diet-related topics.

Examples would include Paleo, IF, Macros, Vegan/Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, Organic, etc.

I'm not ready to transition into one or the other just yet, but I'm curious to hear about how other people have done so.

I think the hard part would be dealing with the times where you eat with other people, especially family and friends that likely don't share the same diet or dietary restrictions. And then there's social conventions and the typical things that may not be possibel for certain people: beer, pub/restaurant food/etc.

So my questions are:

-How did you deal with the transition?

-How did it affect your social life or how you do things in social situations?

-What about dealing with Family/Friends/Significant Others?

Offer any other opinions that you feel would be useful, I'd love to hear from plenty of different people so that I can see what kinds of experiences I could be dealing with in the future.

Thanks

DylanAilDon

Link to post

I eat primal, but it hasn't affected me socially at all, really. I live by myself, so I don't have to worry about feeding anyone else. I didn't go out to eat that often before and I still don't.

The thing that interests me is that, no matter where I go, I just never encounter people who have any particular curiosity about what other people are eating. It would be so weird to me if someone just randomly commented on my food choices at a restaurant or something that I would probably just sit there and stare at them. And yet a lot of other people seem surrounded by people who constantly want to discuss their eating habits. So I guess my answer is: my family and friends don't care what I eat, or what anyone else eats, but sometimes I think I'm in the minority in that regard.

[table=width: 600]

[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

Level 3 Elf Warrior

STR 9.5|DEX 6|STA 9|CON 7|WIS 8.5|CHA 2

Challenge thread

Twitter

"There is never an absolute answer to everything, except of course that you have to do your squats." - Mark Rippetoe

[/table]

Link to post

I am gluten-free and generally eat "traditional" foods (essentially whole foods with emphasis on careful preparation of grains and legumes). I have been lacto-ovo vegetarian, vegan (before having to be GF and mostly soy-free), and paleo. Here's my thing: I *have* to be gluten-free. I don't *have* to be veg, paleo, etc. Now, ethically I do have some self-imposed restrictions. I try not to ever eat factory-farmed meat (my main reason for being veg back in the day), so I tend to eat veg when out. I generally feel there's no one perfect diet, just the perfect one for you. Awesome that you're doing research! Just make sure your nutritional needs are met and then find what feels best.

Transitioning does take some time. I'd give yourself a good month with any given way of eating before tweaking anything. For instance- I was vegan for several years and felt great for months, then got very sick despite "doing it right." I added some meat back in for a while and felt great (after I got rid of gluten). Went paleo and felt great for a couple of months, then found out that for me that much meat made me feel terrible. Just give yourself enough time to evaluate your health and unless you have ethical qualms about some aspect of the diet just tweak until you feel great. As far as transitioning away from gluten to a GF diet, that was easy. I was horribly ill and felt loads better within a week... only got better from there. I sort of put that into a different category, though.

Eating with family and friends can be tricky. If I'm hosting a dinner party I try to figure out everyone's restrictions/preferences/etc. and cook to that. When I ate a strict paleo diet I did host my vegan friends for dinner. I cooked vegan foods, because there's nothing more of a turn-off than being a guest and being served a slab of meat and a few vegan side dishes. (Hostess fail.)

Eating away from home? Really difficult for me, even now. When I went vegan, I had relatives who tried to add chicken broth or butter "because a little won't hurt, right?" (SO not the point.) When I *had* to go gluten-free, avoiding the tablespoon of flour in a recipe nearly made me crazy. I'm very sensitive to gluten, and it's really hard to go out to eat if you constantly have to worry about the kitchen/waitstaff not contaminating your food. I find myself having to say "no" a fair amount.

If you don't go to restaurants, and socialize with friends at potlucks, dinner parties, bbq's, etc., I think it's not as big a deal. Always ask, if you have restrictions (whether health necessities or preferences), if you can bring something. Many people do get touchy about you not eating/drinking what they're having, whether that's beer or meat or gluten or a slice of cake. And I mean really touchy. Food is a really personal thing to some people.

*Please don't take this to mean that you shouldn't move towards a special diet. I've managed to survive at gatherings both as a vegan and while eating a strict paleo diet. What I do now, though, is just make sure my health needs are met (gluten-free) and relax a little about the rest. But then, I've been doing this for a while and have come to the conclusion for my own mental health that it's better for me to have something I wouldn't normally eat once in a while with friends. I just don't keep it in my home. It can be limiting if you let it be limiting, but a lot of that depends on your own personality.

Newbie scout.

First challenge.

STA: 1

CON: 1

Link to post
I think the hard part would be dealing with the times where you eat with other people, especially family and friends that likely don't share the same diet or dietary restrictions. And then there's social conventions and the typical things that may not be possibel for certain people: beer, pub/restaurant food/etc.

So my questions are:

-How did you deal with the transition?

-How did it affect your social life or how you do things in social situations?

-What about dealing with Family/Friends/Significant Others?

I generally tried to go slow with it and be flexible..

Right now i'm using IF (intermittent fasting) with hints of paleo.. Meaning i usually only eat supper (no breakfast, no lunch). Did that by first shoving the breakfast back, eating less and then skipping it totally. Basicly the same with lunch. First trying to do it later each day and/or, switching to 'small' things like salat, several apples or similar stuff and finally also skipping. At the same time ofc i ate more and more during supper. By now i really think it fits me quite well to 'only' eat supper after work and working out. The supper usually consists of lots of meat, veggies and fruits but i'm not trying to make it paleo by the book. I just love those three things ;)

As said i'm also trying to be flexible with it. When i'm in a hotel or at friends i sometimes have breakfast, sometimes i just tell i don't want/need breakfast but i'm also not making a deal out of it and tell them about IF. I just say i don't want to. It can help to at least have coffee :). Also sometimes i hang out with collegues for lunch.. thats a great way to keep getting information or socialize. But one can make up for that if you are talkative :)

Just today a neighbor came around 10am with some selfmade sweets. Heck there is no way i'd say no to that. But at the same time it will not break my general eating habit. Balance things and be flexible. I think its best to not stress others with the way you are eating, just say NO now and then. IF is also nice to impress others at supper how much you can eat without getting fat :pig:

*edit* Here is a nice list of hints on how to start changing your diet, although its geared towards IF: http://www.precisionnutrition.com/intermittent-fasting/appendix-b

Level 2   Human   Ranger

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------STR 7.7  CON 4.8  Battle Log  We are Rangers.DEX 2.0  WIS 2.9               We walk in the dark places no others will enter.STA 4.9  CHA 3.3               We stand on the bridge, and no one may pass.

 

Link to post

I'm an ovo-vegetarian, ovo-lacto when I eat out.

Transitioning was easy for me, I hadn't bought eat for months and someday I thought "okay, I'm a vegetarian now" and that was done. Removing the milk is harder, I'm allergic to casein and whey so when I eat milk I have allergic reactions (coughing, sneezing, asthma) but it's included in a LOT of things so I'm more flexible with that, plus I like cheese a lot.

When I eat out, most places have a vegetarian option, if they don't I order a salad or something and ask them to hold the meat. For potlucks I bring food I can eat, and depending on what else there is, sometimes that's the only thing I eat.

People don't necessarily notice I'm a vegetarian, if I ask for a mushroom omelet, there is nothing that says I'm one, for instance. Those who do notice don't usually have a problem with it, they're just surprised because my boyfriend is a big meat eater and I guess they expect couples to eat the same foods?

I also don't usually drink alcohol, for that I found that as far as I'm concerned, saying no when offered and ordering something different works fine. I haven't had pressure to drink when other people are, so that's good. If people tried to pressure me, I would probably get annoyed with them and stick to my guns.

Link to post

If you go with some of the more common dietary weirdness, you're probably not going to get looked at twice. My main thing is that I'm not sure what's in other people's cooking, but I really have to watch my portions depending on the food. (Most 69 cent hamburgers give a 120% satiation value.) I pretty much just suck it up and hope for the best. Desserts are extra tricky for me to eat, but a crazy theory about how one can stave off diabetes by skipping dessert should be enough to get the people who offer them to smile and nod. "I'm not fond of sweets" seems like the easiest way out of trying the pie.

I have conditions that affect my social awareness.  If I am rude, tell me what I could do better.

5'8" & 220 260 pounds | Miles Walked: X

2019: | 1 | 2 | 3 |

Pre 2017: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | * | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 |

Link to post

So my questions are:

-How did you deal with the transition?

-How did it affect your social life or how you do things in social situations?

-What about dealing with Family/Friends/Significant Others?

I eat Primal/Paleo, at about 99%.

How did I deal with the transition:

If you mean transitioning to Paleo, for me I took it semi-slow. In the very beginning, I would do my research and find out what foods were paleo, then at each and every meal, I would ask myself this question..."Okay, what non paleo thing am I about to eat, that I can switch out for something paleo". My standard example was I use to eat lots of pasta and chicken, so chicken was of course okay, but I would switch the pasta out with a bunch of veggies. I would ask myself that question for every meal, and in the beginning I was probably 50/50 paleo, but within two weeks I had completely switched because it turned out to be much easier than I thought.

How did it affect your social life or how you do things in social situations?

The only thing it affected in social situations was that to many times if I was at a work event, or invited to a party, they would not have much paleo foods. I planned ahead, and just in case they did not have anything I would eat, I would bring something I could eat and leave it in the car. If I got hungry, I would just go out to the car and snack on something.

I am also not a person who gives in to peer pressure, nor do I feel obligated to eat something that hurts me just because it might upset someone else. On the other hand, I do not want to hurt someones feelings or offend them, so I just told people at social events, that I have an allergy to wheat/gluten and this is why I eat the way I do.

-What about dealing with Family/Friends/Significant Others?

I am very lucky that my wife and I are partners. We do not own each other, and we respect each others life choices, so when I told her I was going down this path, her only concern was that I be careful about my health. Now almost 3 years later, she has no worries.

For the rest of my family, I just did not tell them what I was doing until I was well into it. I had already had awesome results, lost tons of weight, cured high blood pressure, and other ailments by that time. I explained to them why I was doing this, the results from it, and what it meant. Some think I am weird, some thing I am wrong, others keep asking for advice now :P

Link to post

I guess I don't understand the place this question is coming from.

You're considering making a sea change in how you fuel your body --- the last thing you should be concerned about is what "other people" "think" about what you are eating!

It has *literally* NOTHING to do with what you are wanting to achieve for yourself. Most people are overweight, many are obese, many smoke, many drink to excess, many make poor food choices all of their lives, many do not maintain an adequate level of physical activity, etc etc the list goes on.

If you are going to let the opinions of other people influence what you ingest into your own body, you will have a long slow road ahead of you.

Seek good advice, yes; make informed decisions, yes; but at the end of the day you are your own expert. Your health and wellness are too important to have them compromised by the opinions of others. Don't even consider the pushback you may get from the outside world. Let your positive results be your only explanation.

Link to post

I do Atkins with a slow transition to primal.

- I was doing an internship in another country when I was finally ready for the change and it was in that way easier that my entire surroundings were completely new and I was living alone. So it was easy. I felt great immediately, so it was a motivation to stick to it.

- I am a really social eater - I enjoy eating with others, so finally I actually made a compromise of cheating my diet every now and then. Pizza about once every two weeks, a cookie or two, a diet coke, a cocktail. I try not to go overboard. I limit myself to a few items - it depends on how active my social life was that week and how successful I was with my eating plan/ working out. First I beat myself up for "ruining" my diet, then I found out that if I cheat in moderation, it doesn't really interfere with my low carb eating. When eating out - there is always a salad I can order.

- My friends didn't really care. My boyfriend was really supportive about it. My mum also got hooked and is also doing low carb now.

A Hobbit who wants to become an Elf - Scout - Level 3
STR: 2,75 | DEX: 4 | CON: 5,5 | STA: 2,5 | WIS: 3 | CHA: 2,75
The journey of Tinessael 1

The journey of Tinessael 2

Tinessael's Challenge (ongoing)

Link to post

I'm assuming by macros you mean a IIFYM type diet (if it fits your macros).

That type isn't really socially limiting in the least bit, nor does anyone really question it. Nothing is excluded so it is adaptable to any situation.

Just eat less (or more) and be mindful of what you are eating, try to hit your macro targets.

currently maintaning

battle log challenges: 16,15,14,13,12,11,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1
follow me: myfitnesspal
don't panic!

Link to post

I now eat straight primal...the philosophy and lifestyle really fit my mind and body and I'm loving it. I had quite a bit of backlash in the beginning, from my family and from some friends, but ultimately I think that's because paleo/primal has somehow gotten labeled "too weird" or "too out there" for people to accept. That's fine. I don't make it my mission to educate people unless they straight-up ask me for more info because I've learned the hard way that unless they make a point of asking a specific question, they don't really want to know.

As far as transition, I cut my carbs dramatically for 1 month by not eating any grains/legumes after lunch. Then after that month was up, I just went straight primal. I shoot for 95-99% primal because I've learned it does me no good to have planned "cheats." Planned cheating messed with my head...I feel I'm better off without letting my brain go there.

Re: social stuff, it doesn't really affect me that much. Most restaurants can accommodate me (most places have grilled chicken and salad, or a burger no bun and some kind of vegetable), and I don't drink alcohol except 1 glass of wine on Saturday nights at home. :) Occasionally I will make an intentional choice to have something not primal...that's for a special occasion and I try to not do it "wastefully" (i.e. If I'm going off plan, I'm going to eat something expensive/fancy/unusual, not junk food or something I could get any day/anywhere). If I'm going to someone's house, I'll either mention my dietary restrictions briefly beforehand (depending on how I know the person), or I'll eat my fill of my own food beforehand and nibble on the items I can eat at the house/party while I'm there. At 4th of July I brought my own dessert to the family BBQ and had no problem not eating the buns, the crackers, or the veggie dip. Ultimately I think people don't really care what you eat as long as they don't suspect you're judging them for what they eat.

Link to post

> Ultimately I think people don't really care what you eat as long as they don't suspect you're judging them for what they eat.

I've found this to be a biggie.

People have gotten defensive about what they're eating when they've noticed what I'm doing, or when I pass on something ... even when I just say "no thank you", I often get quizzed 'well why not? what's up? are you on a diet? you don't need to lose weight!"

So it's walking that line between explaining why you're doing what you're doing, without condemning the other person for making different choices.

It can be a great opportunity to open some eyes though --- like being fit in general, people ask stuff like "what kind of workouts do you do?" ...

Folks are always looking for the next greatest thing to try, and if we can show them a new door, maybe they'll see some benefit. "Hey, this worked "for me", give it a try and see if it works for you too"

I've linked to this article before, but it's a good one, re: remaining authentic in the face of social pressure:

http://www.archevore.com/panu-weblog/2010/1/13/smoking-candy-cigarettes.html

Link to post
> Ultimately I think people don't really care what you eat as long as they don't suspect you're judging them for what they eat.

I've found this to be a biggie.

People have gotten defensive about what they're eating when they've noticed what I'm doing, or when I pass on something ... even when I just say "no thank you", I often get quizzed 'well why not? what's up? are you on a diet? you don't need to lose weight!"

So it's walking that line between explaining why you're doing what you're doing, without condemning the other person for making different choices.

Completely agree. There will always be some who press the issue for some odd psychological reason, but most people won't make a big deal of it if you don't call attention to it.

I think the other thing that's important(both for your own sanity and to "play nice with others" is to have a sense of pragmatism - diets are NOT(or at least, they shouldn't be) a religion. Unless you've got celiac or a severe allergy/intolerance, the consequences of eating "non-compliant" food tend to be mild to unnoticeable for those without specific issues - in fact unless it becomes a habit the effects of a single "cheat" will likely be little more than some transient water retention for a day or two.

I think it's important to be mindful of the fact that it's the 90%, not the 10% that generally dictates your success. When you go out to eat - taking Paleo as an example - getting a steak or grilled chicken with some veggies on the side, that may have a little non-paleo oil on it really isn't that bad in the grand scheme of things when compared with a burger on a white bread bun slathered with Mystery Sauce and some deep-fried onion rings. Likewise, special occasions are different from everyday temptation. Don't feel bad about refusing the random goodies that people find some excuse to bring into the office all too often. But when someone REALLY wants to go some place for their birthday, humor them and don't worry about what may or may not be on the menu.

"Restlessness is discontent - and discontent is the first necessity of progress. Show me a thoroughly satisfied man-and I will show you a failure." -Thomas Edison

Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

New here? Please check out our Privacy Policy and Community Guidelines