How to Stick to Your Healthy Diet When Eating Out
Just because you’re on a diet doesn’t mean you have to lock yourself away and go into hiding for the next however many months!
Being on a diet doesn’t have to mean constant deprivation either, and that’s why restaurants can become your best friend.
Whether or not you find yourself in restaurants often, figuring out how to handle the situation when you do find yourself eating out is important to ensure that you don’t make a split second decision that ruins your healthy streak.
1) Is healthy a choice?
Most restaurants these days have healthy menu options that you can choose from to stay on track to your goals without breaking your diet.
However, you might not see something on the menu that meets your diet’s requirements.
Choosing the next best thing is a good idea, but sometimes you deserve to treat yourself.
Ask yourself if healthy is a choice. Then, ask yourself if you are okay with a cheat meal or if you want to stay on track today.
2) Are you going to splurge?
Once you figure out whether or not you want to splurge at all, the next step is to figure out what all you are going to splurge on.
Do you want to go all-out with drinks, appetizers, and a delicious meal complete with dessert?
That might sometimes be a worthy choice, but in general, you should try to stay as much in control and on track as possible without making yourself feel deprived or left out.
For instance, you might have water and skip the appetizer, order a side salad with salmon, and then splurge with a delicious dessert.
It’s up to you, so ask yourself how you feel (preferably before you get into the restaurant).
3) Get right back on track
Maybe you splurged more than you expected to or now you’re kicking yourself for doing it.
Don’t be a dieter who falls victim to the cheat spiral!
One bad day isn’t going to ruin all the progress you have made, so don’t let it throw you off.
Get right back to your diet tomorrow at full force.
Don’t allow a single cheat meal to turn into a cheat day or a cheat weekend.
Remind yourself that you are still moving forward, even when you stop to grab a bite every once in a while.
Watch What You’re Drinking if You Want to Lose Weight
Have you been drinking your calories?
It’s a problem that many people run into when they try to lose weight, and it could be what’s stopping you from dropping those extra pounds.
Most people who are trying to lose weight first look to calorie restriction before anything else.
While you do need to eat at a calorie deficit in order to lose weight, you also need to think about what you’re eating and where those calories are coming from.
The trouble is, most people start logging how many calories they are eating and they don’t consider the fact that the majority (if not all) of their calories are coming from junk food.
This food is processed, low in nutrients, and not very filling at all.
That’s what leads to dieters feeling like they are starving themselves.
When you go on a diet, you absolutely have to consider how much you are going to eat each day and where those calories are coming from.
Always opt for healthy, filling food over junk, processed food that’s known as “empty calories”.
This means that about 90% (or more) of your daily calorie budget should be derived from healthy, nutrient rich food that will fill you up and leave you feeling satiated.
The other 10% or so can come from foods you are craving as a treat to yourself.
So, if you eat 1,200 calories a day, roughly 120 of those calories can be a bite-sized, portion controlled taste of your favorite snack or treat.
But, the rest needs to come from healthy foods that are going to fill you up.
The thing to consider here is that drinks simply aren’t filling.
Unless you are drinking a juice that has no added sugar and is extremely nutrient rich with fibrous vegetables in it, you aren’t going to be getting any good benefits from drinking your calories during the day.
The average soda is over 250 calories, which could easily be a healthy meal if you chose the right foods.
The issue is that this 250-calorie soda isn’t going to leave you feeling full or satiated in any way whatsoever, but it will contribute to weight gain if you go outside of your calorie budget.
So, don’t drink your calories.
Start drinking ice cold water flavored with fresh fruit juices as needed and instead focus on getting your calories from filling, healthy foods.