Food and friends go together. And when you add alcohol to the mix, things can get even more out of control. Just as alcohol lowers social inhibitions, it also lowers inhibitions with food. Eating at restaurants and going to dinner parties are inherently social activities. Whether you're a guest, a host or just one of the gang, when you're in social situation, it's easy to overeat.
Strategy: Eating with friends is definitely hard. Most people tend to over-order or cook too much. In fact, researchers found that when people eat with one companion, they consume 28 percent more than if they are were dining alone. When they eat with two companions, they consume 41 percent more and when they eat with six or more companions, their consumption increase by whopping 76 percent. And you're at even greater risk of overeating when alcoholic beverages are part of the festivities, since alcohol stimulates your appetite and lowers your commitment to being smart about food.
Fortunately, smart eating doesn't mean you have to become a hermit. Before going out, verbalize or write down your food intentions. If you're seeing friends who drink and you're prone to eating after you've had a couple, promise yourself that you'll have only one drink. Do drink plenty of water or soda water, though, since it will help fill you up and hydrate you.