Planning for a meal out, on a diet
Sometimes it’s unavoidable. I’ll be at a conference all next week, and there’s about 8 meals I’ll have to be careful during. Here are my tips to doing it without breaking the scale:
- Pre-load on WATER, not healthy snacks. My main issue with eating something healthy beforehand is that I’m still SUPER tempted to eat a ton at dinner anyway, or I fall into that old habit and order poorly, which means a healthy snack beforehand just becomes MORE calories to remove. If you must eat something, stick to calorie “free” items like pickles, cucumbers, carrots, etc., but I’ve found that nothing beats a gallon of water an hour or two before the meal. If that sounds dreadful, go with calorie free green tea or something else calorie light.
- Skip the apps and zerts. If the table insists on ordering them, this would be a good time to go to the bathroom for the fourteenth time after your gallon jug chug. If you’re out at a hibatchi place, you can always order the ginger salad or the miso soup, but most places I end up going with friends don’t have items with that low a calorie count.
- Keep the drinking light. I don’t mean “lite.” Most of those “athlete beers” are like, 6 calories less than the busch and bud and coors lite options, and are loaded with carbs. Go with a vodka tonic, or volunteer to DD, and avoid getting the drunk munchies and lowered willpower. I usually go up to the bar and as for an “AA special” which is typically a sprite or coke (zero if they have it) with a lime in a cocktail glass. You avoid the typical questions about why you aren’t drinking, you don’t ruin everyone else’s good times, and you still get to keep a clear head and focus on not downing half the plate of chocolate cake those jerks ordered.
- It’s important to reward yourself. You’re eating out. The course of this diet hasn’t lost you all your friends. You’re still being invited out despite your terrible mood and irritability. If you make it through dinner with the salad and veggie platter, and avoid the cake and 15 drinks you normally order, treat yourself when you get home. Whatever you’ve been using as a small reward or treat, like celery and peanutbutter with raisins or whatever, getchu some. While you don’t lose weight for NOT eating unhealthy (the biggest disappointment of my life), it’s important to relax your willpower a bit and give it some rest, or else you’ll tempted to break the diet or focus on that food you didn’t eat.
And if you’re reading this and thinking it was cruel that I posted a photo of ice cream and a brownie, just know I stared at it long enough to notice the second, smaller image on the ordering menu is just a photo of the food before being spooned, but flipped and shrunk. so…..