When trying to stick with a weight loss diet, one of the biggest barriers people face is not having the social support from friends and family. I’m sure you’ve been there, Saturday night comes around and you’ve been invited out for a meal and a few drinks.
You’re trying to stick to your diet, yet the peer pressure and allure of a night out after a stressful week’s work is just too overwhelming and before you know it, you’ve taken yourself into a calorie excess for the entire week, just on one night out! You feel that you’ve blown your diet and very quickly, you fall back into contemplation and quit the diet, after all, what is life for if not to enjoy the odd meal and a few drinks with mates?!
Fortunately, there is a way of maintaining a calorie deficit for the week and to enjoy the occasional meal out as well! Read on for the PMA Personal Training’s 7 Top Tips for eating out survival guide!’
1. Adjust your meals in the week
When planning a meal out at the weekend, trim back your evening meal intake by around 20% on the preceding five weekdays leading up to it. A typical meal may contain around 600 calories so by cutting back 20% for 5 days, you’ll create around a 1200 calorie deficit. An easier way to do this might be to cut down on any oils and butter you consume (a table spoon of olive oil has around 114 calories)
2. Eat Light on the day
On the day of your meal out, eat a very light but satiating breakfast and lunch. I’d suggest just an apple and a cupped palm size of lean protein (such as chicken, fish or cottage cheese) for breakfast and for lunch, just a salad made with a variety of vegetables (avoid the starchy ones such as carrots, sweet corn and beans), with another portion of lean protein. Aim for a low calorie or vinaigrette dressing on your salad and avoid extra calories from nuts, mayo, oils or salad cream. These contain large amounts of calories in small amounts.
3. Stay Hydrated
Aim to drink around 6-8 glasses of water or 2 – 3litres of water per day. Our bodies can easily mistake hunger for thirst, causing an over consumption of calories. The biochemical formula for weight loss also requires adequate H2O so weight loss is optimized when we’re properly hydrated.
4. Start with salad
When in the restaurant, have a low calorie starter such as a salad (again with just a vinaigrette dressing). Research shows that it takes 20 minutes for our brains to register that we’ve eaten and for us to stop feeling hungry so eating a salad will kick start this process with few calories, leading to us eating less overall.
5. Choose Low Calorie Drinks
Aim for shorts with a diet Coke or Soda instead of wine or beer. A pint of beer can easily contain 250 calories, where a short contains around 80 calories.
6. Watch the Dessert
Have just one pudding! Simples.
7. Pick Table Service and stay sensible
Avoid all you can eat buffets, especially Chinese. These can provide a whopping amount of calories. In addition, whilst being flexible on your restaurant meal out is advised, avoid seeing it as an opportunity to cram as much food and drink into you as you can!
So there we have it. Eating out is an enjoyable part of life and should not be avoided. In fact, having some flexibility with your diet can help with long term adherence to your weight loss goals. Planning your meal out to fit in with your body composition goals can be done and without being obsessive about your food and without taking an ‘all or nothing’ approach to dieting.
If you’d like a more comprehensive approach to your weight loss, changing your eating habits, exciting training personal training sessions and weekly top tips then please feel free to contact us and we can bring our unique weight loss coaching service straight to your home in Norfolk and Suffolk.