Friday, August 8, 2014

Tips for Eating Out - Surviving the Weekend

Its Friday and I'm sure your weekend is packed with picnics, back to school parties, birthday parties, weddings, showers, or just dinner at a restaurant. As I sat down to write this, I started getting all antsy because all of these situations are filled with tempting non healthy snacks and meals. What is a person supposed to do when they are trying to keep a healthy meal plan and do right by their fitness?? Everywhere you look there will be foods and snacks filled with high fat, sugary, and hard to resist temptations. The last party I went to the menu consisted of frozen burgers and hot dogs, chips and dip, chicken wings, cakes and cookies galore! Oh, and lets not forget the beer, liquor, and soda! So needless to say there was not much for me to choose from. I did my best to keep it clean. People kept giving me weird stares and offering me cake and cookies, different types of food. I politely declined and drank my water and ate my fruit and nuts I had brought. When I got home I was hungry...decided I needed to be more prepared next time.

To keep from having to stress every time you go out in public to a restaurant or an event here are some tips from Tosca Reno's Stripped book to keep your mind at ease - and have you prepared.

Planning is best, when you are out you always need a game plan. You should avoid eating out all the time because once you enter a restaurant you surrender control over what is in your food.

1. Develop an "I don't have to eat it all!" Mindset. Make up your mind before you go that you don't have to get the most bang for your buck by cleaning your plate. KEEP YOUR GOAL IN MIND. Check the menu before you get there!

2. Satisfy hunger only-Don't Gorge. Eat for the purpose of satisfying your hunger, but no more. If need be - bring your own snacks with you.

3. Start small and green. Start your meal with a salad, without dressing. Use a spritz of lemon or some balsamic vinegar.

4. Broth is best. When there is no salad option have a broth based soup.

5. NO BREAD PLEASE! Remember this is not helping you achieve your 10 pound weight loss goal.

6. Clean Cooking techniques rock! Look for entree options featuring steamed or raw veggies and grilled, baked or roasted meats or fish. If they aren't listed, ask the server to prepare it that way. Oh and don't always trust the low fat or fat free symbols.

7. Portion control is in. Have a good look at your plate when it arrives. Ask for a doggie bag and split your meal in half.

8. Fletcherize. The practice of chewing each mouthful a min of 25 times. It gives your body a chance to recognize when you are becoming full.

9. Zero Tolerance. You want to avoid alcohol because sugar can derail you in the most powerful way. Have sparkling water with lemon or lime slices.

10. Stop before the end. Think of your plan to shed those pounds, if you can't resist something sweet ask for a dish of fresh fruit and leave it at that!

11. Going to an outside party? Offer to bring a meal with you! This way you are contributing, and you have something healthy to eat!

If you doubt your ability to resist restaurant or party offerings then pre-eat! Then when you go out you don't have to worry about what's on the menu and you can focus on socializing.

If you can't resist the dessert table then pack a few clean cookies in a Ziploc bag and pull them out with your coffee or tea while everyone else is eating their sugar laden cookies and cake. If you have to go through a drive through, familiarize yourself with the menu. Never super size and make smart food choices by ordering grilled chicken and a side salad. Cut up the chicken and place on salad and go with olive and vinegar dressing or, low fat balsamic.

One of the most difficult things to manage while following a healthy lifestyle is your social life. So surround yourself with family and friends that support what you are doing and are not sabotaging your efforts. Instead of going out drinking or to a restaurant here are some alternatives.

Meet a friend at the gym - or host at in home workout session!

Have a game night at home with healthy clean snacks

Organize a kickball, basketball or softball game in your neighborhood or with the kids.

Volunteer together at a local charity

Meet at the park for a walk or bike ride

Take a free fitness class with friends

Eating clean and creating a healthy lifestyle doesn't have to mean that you are becoming a boring person. There is so much more to experience than food and drinks! Live outside the box and you will have people wondering what you are doing because your energy and personality are on fire!!