What do you do when you eat at a friend's house?

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Replies

  • myfitnessnmhoy
    myfitnessnmhoy Posts: 2,105 Member
    I must say that, unless you are on a medically supervised restrictive diet that would require you to do so, bringing your own food when invited to dinner seems incredibly rude to me. Eat as little as you like, even decline dessert if you must. You are under no obligation to stuff yourself silly but there is no need to be rude just because you are on a diet.

    Huh?

    When one of my friends invites me over for dinner, I always offer to bring a salad or starter dish and a bottle of wine. It seems perfectly polite to me, and my friends always seem to appreciate having one course of the meal taken care of.

    I can understand your point if I showed up and brought my own complete meal without saying anything, and completely ignored the meal you were generously offering to me. That could potentially be rude if your host/ess was the sort of person who cared about such things.

    But if I say "Dinner would be great, thanks! Would you like me to bring a salad for starters?" I've never heard anyone tell me that's rude. Then I can control my own portions of salad versus whatever my generous friend has prepared, and if I happen to load up a little more salad than main course, I've never had a friend become offended about it.

    But, then again, the kinds of friends who invite me over to dinner are also the kinds of friends who I don't generally tend to worry about offending or take offense from their actions. They are friends. If I invite them over for dinner, it's because I want to hang out and enjoy their company, not because I want to put an obligation on them to compliment me about my cooking skills. If they bring their own food, it's all good. There's space at the table, and good conversation, and no one gets uptight about what everyone else is eating (except the parents making sure their kids get their veggies, etc).
  • Eat something beforehand! Then you will be more likely to eat a smaller portion
  • lysistrataNix
    lysistrataNix Posts: 125 Member
    Thank you, all of you for your answers. A salad would not go over well because the hostess doesn't like lettuce. She HATES lettuce.

    I've been trying to cut high calorie food out of my diet. I watched my friend make spaghetti once and it was 2 16oz packs of noodles with 2 jars of sauce. 2 oz of noodles (which really isn't much) is 200 calories, obviously just filling a bowl with pasta can ruin my entire day just on calories. I try to eat 6 small meals that are no more than 250 calories total. So far my plan has been working fairly well.

    Dinner with my friend isn't until tomorrow night, but I wanted suggestions now so I can have a plan in place for tomorrow.
    My next challenge will be getting through the holidays.
  • AlsDonkBoxSquat
    AlsDonkBoxSquat Posts: 6,128 Member
    I offer to bring over half the menu, that way I know that there will be things I can have a larger portion of (my contributions) and things I can indulge in (her contributions).
  • AlsDonkBoxSquat
    AlsDonkBoxSquat Posts: 6,128 Member
    Thank you, all of you for your answers. A salad would not go over well because the hostess doesn't like lettuce. She HATES lettuce.

    I've been trying to cut high calorie food out of my diet. I watched my friend make spaghetti once and it was 2 16oz packs of noodles with 2 jars of sauce. 2 oz of noodles (which really isn't much) is 200 calories, obviously just filling a bowl with pasta can ruin my entire day just on calories. I try to eat 6 small meals that are no more than 250 calories total. So far my plan has been working fairly well.

    Dinner with my friend isn't until tomorrow night, but I wanted suggestions now so I can have a plan in place for tomorrow.
    My next challenge will be getting through the holidays.

    Is this a meal about the hostess, or a meal about friends getting together to enjoy each other's company for an evening? If it's about the hostess then don't take a salad or anything else and just eat small portions, if it's about friends getting together then add to the menu whatever you want and will eat. It doesn't sound like she's exactly a gourmet cook, so I don't see what issue she would take with you chipping in, seeing as it wouldn't really ruin the overall ambiance of the meal.
  • GeekGirl23
    GeekGirl23 Posts: 517 Member
    I make sure that whole day I'm eating very very clean. Then I use my MFP app on my phone to make sure I log everything. Also get a work out in that day if possible.
  • tedsmama
    tedsmama Posts: 178 Member
    I entertain a lot and can completely appreciate all the hard work and planning that goes into a dinner party. I would be incredibly offended if someone brought their own food. I would just be honest with her ahead of time and let her know what you're trying to do for yourself. You may be surprised to find some healthier options served. Hostesses love to please their guests!!
  • LisaKC
    LisaKC Posts: 328 Member
    I drink whatever beer is in the fridge and tell them I'm doing them a favor.

    I'm pretty sure this person has been a guest at some of my parties. ;)
  • LisaKC
    LisaKC Posts: 328 Member
    Regarding lettuce, who says a salad has to include lettuce? I'm pretty sure there isn't a law requiring this. For lunch today I had a salad with cucumber, olives and tomatoes with a little balsamic vinegar. There are lots of other fresh veggie combinations that I think count as "salad." Another one of my favorites is roasted asparagus with red peppers and a little feta.

    Think outside the head of lettuce!!!:happy:
  • BogQueen1
    BogQueen1 Posts: 320 Member
    We have friends we go over to rather regularly. We went over there to watch football the other night. Normally snacks offered are pretzels with sour cream ranch dip, lots of chips, not too much that is healthy.

    So this time I offered to bring the snacks. I know they like gourmet eats, so I picked up a tray of presliced cheese (cheddar, swiss, gouda and havarti), made chicken salad (white meat rotisserie chicken with lots of celery and onions, and the dressing a mix of greek yogurt with a touch of mayo, and a garlic chive seasoning), brought over whole grain crackers, and some pears which I sliced thinly to go with it all. She threw some fresh cherry tomatoes into the mix, and we had a hell of a snack plate, which as long as I didn't go crazy on the cheese, I could fully enjoy relatively guilt free.

    And, they enjoyed not having to provide all the snacks for once. So, I guess my suggestion is that maybe every once in a while, you could offer to bring the food instead of her doing all the cooking, then you get the best of both worlds.
  • bcattoes
    bcattoes Posts: 17,299 Member
    I must say that, unless you are on a medically supervised restrictive diet that would require you to do so, bringing your own food when invited to dinner seems incredibly rude to me. Eat as little as you like, even decline dessert if you must. You are under no obligation to stuff yourself silly but there is no need to be rude just because you are on a diet.

    Huh?

    When one of my friends invites me over for dinner, I always offer to bring a salad or starter dish and a bottle of wine. It seems perfectly polite to me, and my friends always seem to appreciate having one course of the meal taken care of.

    I can understand your point if I showed up and brought my own complete meal without saying anything, and completely ignored the meal you were generously offering to me. That could potentially be rude if your host/ess was the sort of person who cared about such things.

    But if I say "Dinner would be great, thanks! Would you like me to bring a salad for starters?" I've never heard anyone tell me that's rude. Then I can control my own portions of salad versus whatever my generous friend has prepared, and if I happen to load up a little more salad than main course, I've never had a friend become offended about it.

    But, then again, the kinds of friends who invite me over to dinner are also the kinds of friends who I don't generally tend to worry about offending or take offense from their actions. They are friends. If I invite them over for dinner, it's because I want to hang out and enjoy their company, not because I want to put an obligation on them to compliment me about my cooking skills. If they bring their own food, it's all good. There's space at the table, and good conversation, and no one gets uptight about what everyone else is eating (except the parents making sure their kids get their veggies, etc).

    Obviously if you offered to bring food and the hostess said yes, then that would different than just showing up with your own food because you are on a diet and didn't want to eat what was offered. And bringing a bottle of wine is a totally different story and you should not necessarily expect that bottle to be opened that night (though it may be if the host/ess so chooses) But even if you brought enough "healthy" food for everyone, it would still be rude not to eat what the hotess was serving.
  • Realistically, how far is eating off-plan twice a month going to set you back in the long term? A week? A month? It may not set you back at all. If it puts you into a calorie surplus, that could actually keep your metabolism from slowing.

    The bigger issue is how your choices could impact your relationship with the friend. She has you & your family over twice a month because she loves you. If you come in with your food scale separating the "clean" & "dirty" foods on your plate & weighing them meticulously at the dinner table, the message you are sending is that knowing specifically what is in the food is more important than the care that went into preparing it for you. What's wrong with just enjoying it as prepared? OP, I know it wasn't you with the food scale but that is seriously way too far. I logged my food for 2 years so I am very familiar with the value of weighing portions. Even so, if I did it at a social gathering I would fully expect a punch in the face.

    .

    Well, sort of. Once a month won't wreck the plan. The thing is, many people find themselves in situations anywhere from once or twice a month to 4 or 5 times a week. That is the issue. Working long hours, you bring in takeout food instead of cooking at home. Or someone at the office is having a birthday and brings cake, you go out for drinks with friends, dinner out with the family or SO, and dinner with friends. If you just indulge, pretty soon you are off the program and not losing weight or even worse, gaining back the weight.

    Pulling out a scale and compulsively weighing food seems a little extreme, I agree. But if we are to lose, or maintain weight, we all have to have a sense of where to draw the line.

    Now that the OP has reported back, I get a sense that this isn't actually food that is worth blowing the diet for. If your friend really is that averse to salad, I would eat before going over to the person's house and just take a minimal amount of food just to be polite, then leave most of it on the plate. Wouldn't make a big deal of it. If she asks, just say you aren't that hungry.
  • stubbysticks
    stubbysticks Posts: 1,275 Member
    Well, sort of. Once a month won't wreck the plan. The thing is, many people find themselves in situations anywhere from once or twice a month to 4 or 5 times a week. That is the issue. Working long hours, you bring in takeout food instead of cooking at home. Or someone at the office is having a birthday and brings cake, you go out for drinks with friends, dinner out with the family or SO, and dinner with friends. If you just indulge, pretty soon you are off the program and not losing weight or even worse, gaining back the weight.
    That's not always the case. For some, yes. Possibly even most. But there are structured eating plans that intentionally cycle calorie intake so that you're at a deficit during the week & have a surplus on one day. I followed such a plan for quite a long time & successfully lost a lot of my weight that way. You're referring to those who tend toward disordered eating, which is very different from structuring your intake so that you have a surplus one day a week. I would sync up my spike days with any events or holidays that came up & it worked great.

    One can eat at maintenance or a surplus once a week without binge-eating & still lose weight. If you have your 3500-calorie deficit at the end of the week, you'll lose about a pound whether you had a 500-calorie deficit for 7 days or a 750-calorie deficit for 6 days with a 1000-calorie surplus on spike day. I find that knowing I'll have a day each week to eat some extra food is a very effective way to prevent cravings for junky stuff during the week, plus post-spike workouts are BOSS. The mental benefits are even more significant; I've been at this for a long time so it's nice to have regular breaks from "dieting" each week.

    But I digress, this is just what works for me & it's not for everybody. Some may find themselves slipping into the 4 or 5 days a week of crappy eating if they do this, so they shouldn't. And I agree, it doesn't sound like what she cooks is worth going off-plan for that frequently, so the suggestion someone made to alternate houses for the get-togethers is a good one. If the hostess isn't willing to at least make an effort to serve healthier food - & no one can force her to, nor should they if she's the hostess - then the OP should probably make a decision about attending the dinner parties as often.
  • JennW130
    JennW130 Posts: 460 Member
    If possible, I try to watch what I eat during the rest of day so that I don't need to worry so much about going over my goals when dinner comes around. That just requires some forwarning.

    Then, at dinner, I usually try to keep the portions small. If they notice the smaller portions, I try to explain by give them a compliment (which, because the friends I eat with tend to be foodies, is usually true): "I'm trying to watch my weight, but everything's so good I don't want to miss out on giving everything a taste."
    this is what i would do as well...