Coming into this beautiful season of celebration and socialising, there are bound to be many more opportunities to indulge and go overboard!
Eating out doesn’t need to be an occasion for a ‘blow out’, or cause anxiety that you will be ruining all your hard work! You need to be able to go out and enjoy the company you’re with and some delicious food without the guilt! Social occasions and sharing meal times with loved ones is such an important aspect of health – both physically and mentally.
Below are some tips I would love to share with you to help you enjoy your social occasions and be fully present with your company without the worry or guilt around your healthy lifestyle!
- Have a snack before going out. Just like that old saying about not doing your groceries when you’re hungry, this is much the same. If you arrive at your event/dinner ravenous, you’re more likely to reach for whatever is available – quite possibly not something that aligns with your health and fitness goals! Regardless of what choices you make though, if you aren’t starving when you make them, they will be controlled choices.
- Don’t fill up on bread or ‘unhealthy’ starters. We’ve all been there – who can resist that toasted white buttery goodness that is garlic bread! The above tip about having a snack goes well with this one, you’re less likely to want the starter if you’re not starving. Now, of course enjoy a slice if you would like to, eating out is about enjoyment after all! But maybe share a serving of bread with the table, or opt for something more nutritious.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Wondering if the sauce on your meal is cream or tomato based, or the method used to cook your meat? Ask! Your wait staff should be able to tell you, if not they will be able to find out.
- Opt for steamed or grilled options where possible, and if the option isn’t mentioned on the menu, again, ask! Many restaurant meals can be adapted to suit without a problem.
- Swap fries for potatoes, veges or salad! You can also ask for your dressing on the side (this is a good little tip too – some restaurants can be pretty heavy handed with sauces and dressings!).
- Drink water! I have written about the importance of hydration in a previous blog post, and it’s certainly an important point to remember water whilst eating out. So often we confuse thirst for hunger, so making sure you are adequately hydrated will help you to remain in control of what and how much you eat. Have a glass of water in front of you and refill it frequently, also ask for water for the table if it’s not offered.
- Eat mindfully, place your utensils down and enjoy the company you’re with! Eating slowly with enjoyment will make you more aware of when you are full and also helps with digestion! Not to mention getting in on the belly laughs, conversation and debates that are sure to be going on around you!
- Most importantly though, ENJOY! Eating out with friends and family is about enjoying the moments, experiencing different foods and sometimes a little indulgence! Life is to be lived and enjoyed – try to make healthy choices, but don’t beat yourself up for ordering your favourite creamy pasta once in a while – enjoy it and move on with a nutritious choice for your next meal!
Armed with a little knowledge and a few tricks, you can go into this silly season ahead without compromising your health and fitness. And always remember we look after ourselves to get the most out of life!
If you would like to get in touch with me, or have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch!