How To Eat Out When You Are On A Diet
Deciding To Diet...
It is never easy to make the decision to lose weight on a diet. It takes a lot of will power, education and planning. You look at your lifestyle and think about what diet will suit you best. We all know that eating low fat, low sugar food is the way forward, but you are not always in the situation where you have full control over what you can and cannot have. If you are out it is hard to choose what to eat, especially on a diet.
With our busy lives and need to socialize, food will be a convenience or a treat. When you are having a large family get together or an evening with friends, food will more often than not be the main event. When entertaining guests you need to offer a nice dinner or go out to a restaurant for a full three course meal. With drinks on top.
It may not be a regular occurrence but when you are supposed to be sticking to your strict diet regime, all this can make it impossible.
Planning Goes Out Of The Window
It is hard enough to choose the right food when you have full control. Making a list before food shopping can prevent you from loading your trolley with snacks and pizzas. Ensuring you buy all you fruit and veg, high fiber pasta and rice and healthy snacks like bread sticks will help you through the week. When you are cooking for yourself. But when you have to go out for a meal, what do you choose to eat?
Never restrict yourself when on a weight loss plan, as you will crave for what you can't have. At the same time, do not binge eat as a 'one off treat'. You will only feel guilty and have to work twice as hard on your diet the following day.
Let your friends and family know that you are watching the calories. Do it subtly if you feel embarrassed. It isn't easy to highlight the fact that you are conscious of your wobbly thighs. Some people may even think you do not need to diet and mock you for eating 'rabbit food'. But stick to your guns and laugh it off if need be. Most people will offer you support when they realize you are serious.
When you have the menu, choose something you will enjoy but won't be smothered with a high fat sauce. Speak to the waiter if you are not sure how the dish is served. Ask for more salad or vegetables on the side rather than potatoes or wedges.
Try to opt for a starter and a main course rather than the main and a dessert. Order a starter with salad or go for a light soup. Avoid high fat pate's or goats cheese, and skip the bread.
Alcohol Has Calories Too!
When you are out in the evening, you will naturally want to have a drink. The only way to avoid it (unless you are tee-total) is to drive. Order wine with your meal instead of beer which contains a lot of calories. Alternate you drink with carbonated spring water. This will fill you up as well as keep you hydrated. You will drink less throughout the night and even feel the need to eat less on your plate.
When Friends Are Doing The Cooking
The first thing you think about when you go out, no matter where it is, is your outfit. If you have a new pair of skinny jeans you want to fit into, or a nice dress that flatters, bear it in mind when you are eating. Even if you are just going to your neighbor's house for a meal, you still have a goal to aim for.
If you have good understanding mates, ask the host to go easy on the carbs when plating your meal up. The one thing you will want to avoid is sounding rude or appearing awkward. You will not be able to dictate what you will be eating and what goes into it, but asking for a smaller portion because you are watching your weight is a reasonable request.
It might be harder to get out of having dessert when the cook has slaved over a work of art, so ask for half a portion or share with another guest. As long as you are joining in and being sociable (not to mention actually enjoying the meal), no one should criticize.
Eating Out Doesn't Always Happen On A Friday Night
We often forget that we eat out when we are on the run. It might be while we are on a shopping spree, or it may be lunch time during work.
If your work colleagues tend to go out for lunch and you like to join them, think about the kind of food will benefit you. Try to avoid burger joints or big pub lunches. They are your waistline's worst enemy, and will only make you feel tired and sluggish when you head back to the office.
Go for a light bar snack, such as a soup and salad, or a sandwich on wholemeal bread. Having a tuna and salad filling will help your brain function for the rest of the afternoon, and you will be a little more energized than if you had a fry up. If your group of workmates opt for a pizza place for lunch, bear in mind most offer salads and pasta too.
Make A Packed Lunch
If you tend to do lunch alone at work, do your best to avoid the canteen. Greasy fries or sausage rolls may be quick and cheap, but will do you no good.
Plan your week ahead when you are at home. It will save you time and money in the long run, and make your diet easier. There is nothing worse than wondering around town trying to find something to eat which is diet friendly.
Pack yourself a healthy sandwich on brown bread and fill it with plenty of salad. Alternate each day with crackers and cottage cheese, a packet of soup to make in a mug or a jacket potato (baked in advanced and heated up in the office). Try and make your diet varied and interesting. If you like to snack, take some carrot sticks or a tub of grapes or raisins. This will stop you from hitting the vending machine for chocolate at elevenses.
Think Every Time You Are Out
We can't always plan our lives around food. That may not even be a bad thing either. After all, we don't want to become obsessed. It's just a different way of thinking though. If you are used to grabbing a cake or a pastry when you go to the shops, buy a tub of sushi instead. If you are hitting the Irish coffee's at your friend's house, limit it to one, or hold the cream.
All we need to do is break the habit, and I reckon it can be done.
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