A meal plan user emailed:
"I love your meal plans, but I keep falling off the wagon. The meals themselves are delicious and doable... But I go over to a friend's house for dinner once a week and it's hard to turn down happy hour with the girls. Do you have any recommendations on how to keep on track while still living a typical 20's-something lifestyle?"
For the weekly dinner party, why not bring healthy food/snacks for you and your friends to enjoy? Or just say, "Sorry I had a late lunch and I'm pretty stuffed!" (this works great against peer pressure!) and skip the unhealthy fare. Or why not just tell your friends, "Hey, I'm trying to get healthy right now and I'm doing so good. I want to keep at it a little longer but please feel free to enjoy yourself. I'm here for the socializing." Maybe your friends are doing the same!
One of the reasons my girlfriends and I like to have dinner parties and weekend brunch at each other's house is because it's healthier fare than at the restaurant (and we save money). Even my husband's friends have taken to getting together to grill instead of going to a sports bar. (My hubby always brings veggies!).
Even in college, "dinner parties" were popular among my lady friends because we were so broke. Every Thursday we got together, made food, and watched TV. I loved it!
As for alcohol and happy hour, why not order a fun non-alcoholic drink? Like fizzy water with a splash of cran and pineapple garnished with fruit? Remember you're going for the socializing, not the booze :) You can also elect for lighter drinks like flavored vodka and sparkling water instead of a frozen daiquiri. Or just have one drink and avoid all the greasy bar food.
Life is all about balance :)