Are you struggling to stick to your diet when you go out? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. In fact, a recent study found that 71% of people struggle to stay on track when they eat out. But don’t give up just yet – there are a few things you can do to make sure you don’t fall off the wagon.
Whether you are going to a children’s party, a high end restaurant or drinking with friends, don’t go hungry.
When we start to feel hungry and the only things available are turkey dinosaurs and cakes, or we feel ‘starving’ by the time the menu shows up when we are out, we are more likely to over-eat and any diet goes out the window. I’m not saying go out for dinner on top of a full meal, but making sure you have had a handful of nuts or a light snack before you leave and you will make it easier to order the food you want and stay away from the buffet table.
If you are eliminating certain things from your diet or just trying to cut down on fat, check the menu in advance and make sure they cater for your diet. Most places will serve sauces on the side or swap a side if you ask, however don’t expect them to completely change a recipe because you don’t want cream in your creamy mushroom pasta!
You don’t have to eat everything on your plate!
Portion sizes in a lot of ‘family’ restaurants are ridiculous. Too much food makes you feel uncomfortable, bloated and sluggish. Waste food, is waste food. Whether you put it in the bin or store it as fat, it is still waste and sabotaging your diet goals.
You can and will find it empowering to leave food on your plate. If someone else is paying and you don’t want to seem ungrateful, ask for a ‘doggy bag’ and discretely throw it out when you get home or save some for another day.
The same for birthday cakes, sweets and chocolates. You don’t need to feel like you are making someone else feel bad or that you are in any way being rude when there are biscuits in the office, or great-aunt Mildred has baked you a cake. You can tell your friend or family member, “Thank you so much, I’m a little full right now but please can I have it to take home to enjoy later”. Then you haven’t refused or found yourself in an awkward conversation with that one…you know who I mean. The one that says, “go on, it’s only a little bit”.
Finally and most importantly to keep you making the choices that you want to make for your diet, have the body and life you want, is that you need to change your associations with food.
A vegetarian doesn’t feel tempted to eat meat, a vegan doesn’t feel like they are battling with the urge to devour a fry-up. Why?
The pictures and images they associate in their minds with these foods create a powerful blueprint. Rather than images of a juicy burger and thinking at how yummy it is, they have locked onto an image of a distressed animal. That image is so powerful that they become indifferent to, or even disgusted by things they may once have enjoyed. They no longer link pleasure to eating meat but instead link images of immense suffering and pain.
You can do this with any food, when you think of flour you can conjure images of delicious cakes and memories with grandma, or you can choose to re-wire your mind to see images of making glue in school with flour and water. Wallpaper paste. That disgusting gloopy mess clogging up your insides. You can do this with any food, in either direction, making the things you want to eat more of even more appealing.
If you’re feeling motivated to make some changes but could use a little help, don’t worry. I have plenty of advice and support available here on the blog, as well as my free 30-minute chat service. So book a call with me today! I can’t wait to hear about your adventures in socialising!