Many of my clients tell me that the minute they announce they're going to lose weight, at least one friend (if not more) begins to sabotage their efforts by saying things like "You're no fun anymore" or "What's the big deal about a slice of pizza. Didn't you work out today?" In a moment of weakness, this kind of peer pressure can really derail your healthy diet. Here's how to get past this common weight-loss barrier.

If Friends Sabotage Your Healthy Diet Tip #1: See What's Really Going On

You may wonder why anyone cares what you eat, but your new habits make your friend more aware of her own choices. Or she may worry that if you lose weight, you'll look better than her. It sounds petty, but friends get competitive with each other, even if it's not on a conscious level. In fact, peer pressure is one of our dieting pitfalls that can actually lead to weight gain. To stay on track with your healthy diet plan, avoid these common overeating triggers.

If Friends Sabotage Your Healthy Diet Tip #2: Be Up-Front

When you're feeling calm, tell your friend you'd like her support. To explain what you mean, give her an example of recent behavior that wasn't helpful. Then spell out what you want her to do differently ("Please stop offering me food I'm trying to avoid"). This conversation may be uncomfortable-confrontation usually is-but your honesty will probably make her rethink her actions.

If Friends Sabotage Your Healthy Diet Tip #3: Take the Focus Off Food

Do you find that you eat well all day-and then you go out with your friends and blow it? If it's too hard to order a sparkling water when everyone else is having a beer, or skip the chips when going out for Mexican food, connect with people in ways that don't involve eating and drinking, at least for a while. Look into activities you've always wanted to try-a photography class or tennis lessons, for example-and see if anyone in your gang is interested in joining you. If it sounds a little pricey, think about all the money you'll be saving on bar tabs and restaurant bills!

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