Sticking to healthy eating habits is hard, in part because nearly everything we do revolves around food. Of course eating is fun and an important part of our social lives, but if food-related activities become our only source of entertainment, losing weight can be next to impossible.
Since we’re nearing the end of January – about the time most people give up on New Year’s Resolutions – I thought this was a good time to think of some date nights (or time with friends) that don’t involve food. The following activities are not only fun, but you’ll return from them feeling good about yourself and more motivated than before. Win – win!
- Head to the spa. Nothing beats being pampered. And though it sounds indulgent, the cost of a couples’ massage or a mani-pedi with friends probably won’t be any higher than dinner or drinks. If you’re on a tight budget, give each other massages instead.
- Relax in a bookstore. Whether it’s your local independent spot or a big-box store, bookstores are the perfect place to learn a little, find your next read, and lounge in a quiet place with your date.
- Take a hike. Trails.com can tell you the best places to hike in your area. If you’re not much of a hiker, head out for a walk in an unfamiliar neighborhood so you can experience something new.
- Turn “date night” into “date day.” Recently Tyler and I went on a date at 10 am – and it was our favorite one yet. We rode bikes (leisurely) for two hours, stopped for salads, window shopped, then rode home. We wouldn’t have been able to do this at night, and probably would have ended up having dinner and drinks instead (lots of calories and much more expensive).
- Go to the beach. Or lake. Or river. Or prairie. Bring portable chairs, a book or some magazines, and warm clothes. If it’s too cold where you live, try a nearby lodge, rec center, or library.
- Hit the gym. Working out with your other half, or a friend, makes burning calories less of a chore and a lot more fun.
- Take a class together. I read recently that couples who do activities that are new to both of them are more likely to be happier than those who stick to their regular routines. Country line dancing, photography, basketball, sewing, anthropology – whatever interests you both or sounds like a good fit for your lifestyle.
- Have an in-home movie night. Put the kids to bed (or better yet, send them to a relatives or babysitter’s house) and settle in for a good flick in the comfort of your own home. If you feel tempted to snack, make a mug of fruity tea to help kick your craving.
- Go on a mini shopping spree. Find a 99 cent store – or other discount store – and give each person $5 to spend on a romantic/funny/crafty gift for the other person. See who can come up with the most creative or personalized gift.
- Play a game. A board game, a scavenger hunt, Frisbee, hide and seek, golf, or any other game that might make you laugh, learn, or feel like a kid again.
- Stargaze. If you live in a big city, drive out a bit to a place where you’re more likely to see some stars. Set up a blanket (or a few), lie down, and gaze up. Some of the best conversations begin when you have real, honest downtime together.
- Volunteer. Doing service for others is very bonding, and allows you to contribute to the greater good while spending time with someone important to you.
Any other non-food activities you like to do on dates or with friends? Please share!