Girlfriend Celebrations - Because Girlfriends Make Life Better

Five Ways Healthy Friends Help Each Other

Swimsuit season not going the way you planned? Enlist the partnership of a girlfriend to help you eat right and get to the size you want! Kami Gray, author of The Denim Diet: Sixteen Simple Habits to Get You into Your Dream Pair of Jeans, wrote this post just for Girlfriend Celebrations, revealing the healthy eating secrets she shares with her best friend. As we know, everything’s better with a girlfriend, and eating right is no exception. Enjoy!

By Kami Gray

Changing to a healthier lifestyle doesn’t have to be a drag or a lone endeavor. Enlist your best girlfriend and the two of you can embark on a successful weight loss journey together. The buddy system is nothing new, but it works! My BFF and I help each other in so many ways. We talk about everything and that includes food! We eat out together, we share recipes, we host dinner parties together, and we help one another stay on track. We know each other’s weaknesses and inspire and support one another to avoid temptation. Sometimes that means tough love, but that only strengthens our bond and our resolve.  Here are five ways that you and your BFF can help each other find lasting diet success!

1. Dine out together with a plan

My BFF and I eat a lot of restaurant meals together. One of the biggest reasons it’s hard to be successful when you’re trying to lose weight or even just maintain weight is not knowing how to eat out at restaurants without overeating. She and I have become experts at avoiding this diet pitfall. The trick to doing this successfully is what I call FPV, which stands for Food Planning and Visualization. You plan in advance what you are going to eat and you visualize yourself doing just that. Successful people visualize their success before it happens, whether it’s perfecting a golf swing, delivering a great presentation, or not succumbing to food temptation. Now that so many restaurants have their menus online (check out, FPV has become even easier. My BFF and I email each other with a link to the restaurant’s website and select exactly what we are going to order when we get there. We usually find an entrée and a salad that we can split, not only cutting the calories in half, but we’re more likely to stick to our plan because we decided on our meal together. The second part of FPV is seeing yourself eating that healthy entrée and salad, enjoying it, and not going home feeling overly-stuffed and needing to lie down on the couch wondering, “Why did I do that?” Make a plan and you are far more likely to execute that plan perfectly. As a health bonus, she and I often choose restaurants that we can walk to so we get a little calorie burning in and feel like we can splurge on a glass (or two!) of red wine at dinner.

2. Move Beyond Dieting Failures With Help From Your Girlfriends

Every woman I know who has tried to lose weight has been unsuccessful at one time or another in her attempt, whether it was a daily setback, or less frequent eating mishaps. Sometimes, we dieters get the idea in our pretty heads that when we’ve blown it, (for instance, we eat a 200 calorie chocolate chip cookie) we then figure, oh well, I’ve gone and ruined my diet for today! I may as well really blow it and eat a few more cookies or down half a pint of ice cream! My BFF does this sometimes. I recently asked her what would happen to the shape of her financial health if she had that same attitude when she and I are out shopping for clothes? What if she splurges on a pair of $200 jeans and then figures she’s blown her budget?  Does that mean that she might as well then buy a $200 pair of shoes and a $400 handbag?? No, of course not. Common sense kicks in.  She cuts her losses, vows to stick to the budget next time, maybe puts in a few more hours at the office and gets back on track. Same goes with our diet. So you ate a cookie, forgive yourself, let it go, vow to be better the rest of the day, and move on (to take a long walk).  Successful weight loss is all about the baby steps…a lot of little baby steps in the right direction adds up to steady and permanent weight loss. But the opposite is also true—one baby misstep, a cookie, and you fall off your diet…well, hey, Girlfriends, falling off your diet doesn’t mean you’re a failure! So don’t beat yourself up over one cookie – that only makes matters worse…just get back on track.

3. Focus on Friends and Farm Fresh Food

My BFF and I love to walk to the farmers’ market. We have several in our home town of Portland, Oregon. Go to to locate farmers’ markets, food co-ops, restaurants, and bakeries that provide local, sustainable, and organic food in your zip code. I say put your money where your mouth is.  Organic food costs more and you’re worth it.  A study through The Organic Center recently proved that organic food is, on average, 25 percent more nutritious, so you’re definitely getting more for your money and any good chef will tell you it also tastes better. Organic food also takes a lot of the guesswork out of reading labels. The USDA does not allow nasty, fat-making ingredients like high fructose corn syrup and partionally-hydrogenated oils (aka, trans fats) in certified organic food. Instead of being a member of the Clean Your Plate Club, drop your membership effective immediately and join the Clean Eaters Club where eating local and seasonal food that has been minimally processed is all the rage and for good reason.

4) Eat Well With Others

I know your BFFs would never try and undermine your efforts to be a healthier and slimmer you, but it’s important to understand where other friends, family, and favorite food enablers may be coming from. You may even get hassled a bit or questioned by those around you. Prepare yourself for comments and concerns from “well-meaning” food enablers who want to tell you how “you’re missing out” and “limiting yourself”. Some may try to guilt you into eating something that you shouldn’t by saying it’s your favorite and they made it (or bought it) especially for you.  Be gracious, and politely but firmly decline.  Your best defense is not to be defensive – you’ll get hassled more!  Be indifferent.  Indifference is a powerful tool.  Do what dogs do – quietly tilt your head in a semi-puzzled, but trusting look and go back to what you were doing!

5) Be A Master of Your Denim: Jeans vs. Junk Food

One of my all-time favorite activities is going shopping for a new pair of jeans. My BFF and I usually make a day out of it which includes a nice long walk to our favorite boutiques, a light lunch with a glass of something bubbly and refreshing, and we end our day with a relaxing pedicure. Denim shopping and finding the perfect pair of jeans is hard work! That’s why it’s important to have your best and most trusted girlfriend with you! The two of us are brutally honest with one another about what looks good and accentuates our assets and what so obviously doesn’t! Here’s a piece of advice to ensure that most of your denim pics look great on you. Every time you want to eat junk food, Ask yourself…What is more important, the momentary pleasure of eating this, or fitting into that dream pair of jeans? I say, Behind every successful dieter is a supportive pair of jeans—and a true-blue girlfriend who tells you how you really look in denim! For me, jeans have always an excellent motivator to make good eating decisions, it’s worked for me for over two decades. REMEMBER THIS: If you’re home and you’ve been summoned into the kitchen by a bag of potato chips, go try on your new pair of jeans! Or call your BFF on “the diet crisis line”! That’ll stop you dead in your tracks!

Kami Gray is a TV wardrobe stylist who says a dream pair of jeans can be a great motivator for losing weight and keeping it off. The Denim Diet is a no-nonsense blueprint for reaching and maintaining a healthy body weight in 16 easy-to-remember habits to make and habits to break. Kami takes the best of all the diets you’ve tried and turns them into a simple, yes-or-no approach you can actually follow. For more information, visit

1 Comment

  1. [...] appreciate their time and talents: Christine Arylo, Melissa Mellott, Casey Wohl, Julie Bestry, Kami Gray, Carly Huegelmann, Brooke Jones, Irene Levine, Izzy Rose. Thank you! (If we have forgotten [...]

    Pingback by Our 10 Favorite Posts of 2009 | Girlfriend Celebrations — December 30, 2009 @ 11:37 am

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