As much as I love them, I think family gatherings have the biggest potential to ruin your clean eating habits. My family loves barbecues and huge homemade dinners, and with both of those typically comes the alcohol too. It's at these functions you have to remember the two most important things: plan ahead and portion control. This past weekend for example was both my sister and Dad's birthday celebrations at my parents house. I asked beforehand what was going to be there as far as food options so that I could plan accordingly. I found out it was going o be homemade Italian food; stuffed shells, linguine with clam sauce, lasagna, garlic bread, and meatballs.
How did I stick to clean eating while still enjoying this homemade meal? Easy- I made my own spaghetti squash at home and brought it with me, and ate that with a few meatballs and a big side salad with balsamic dressing.... it's all about being prepared!
Alternatively, if you have lots of self control, you can load your plate with salad first, then go for small portions of the other goodies, making sure you're still around 25 grams of protein. I could have gone this route, but like typical Italian food, it was smothered in cheese, and my lactose intolerant stomach would not have appreciated it. So, that's half the battle, right? The other half being defending why you are eating so healthy. (Because that's just so darn weird! How dare you?!) I have seen so many people struggle with this, especially when first starting to eat clean, and as I see it you can do the following two things: first, explain what it is you are doing and why. I would say something like, " I'm eating clean because it positively complements my love for the gym and my goal of building lean muscle, and it also makes me feel great and I have lots more energy than before." Hopefully, once you explain the benefits of eating clean, your family and friends will support your choices. Unfortunately this isn't always the case, so if plan A fails, revert to plan B which is sticking to your plan regardless of others thoughts or opinions. When it comes down to it, you don't need anyone's permission to live a healthy life, you just keep on truckin' and they'll get over it (or at least get used to it) eventually.