I have my clients journal daily as to the following components of weight loss: (1) stress management, (2) exercise, and (3) diet. When it comes to diet, there seems to be a common theme that takes my clients off course with their weight loss, and the same issue took me off course many times in my own weight loss journey.
Imagine this scenario: you’re busily working away when a friend texts to invite you to dinner. This is the very excuse you’ve been waiting for to close the books on your workday. Instead of heading home to your leftover grilled salmon salad, you find yourself in a restaurant. The smells of deliciousness are wafting through the air, and in that moment your weight loss goals no longer seem important. At the very least, you’re willing to give them a “one day” delay to fully enjoy the evening.
If this only happened every so often, you might actually experience only a slight delay in reaching your weight loss goals. However, we are presented with countless opportunities to eat out, and oftentimes we take them.
Eating out too often while you are trying to lose weight will definitely interfere with your success. Try the five strategies below to avoid the “eating out” backslide.
1. Know when to Say YES and NO. The key is to know these impromptu invites are coming, and to decide in advance how often you are going to say YES. If you commit yourself to only one meal out each week until you reach your weight loss goal, you must decline any additional invitations, at least for that week.
2. Redefine Your Purpose in Dining Out. Make eating out a purpose driven event rather than an eating event. If your family wants to celebrate a birthday or accomplishment at a favorite restaurant, let that be the focus of the experience and commit, in advance, that you are there to celebrate, not eat and drink. With that perspective in mind, look at the menu of the restaurant in advance and select a healthy alternative that you will most definitely order when you are there.
3. Manage Portion Size. The portions served in restaurants these days are, simply put, insane. Made for giants, and not mere female mortals like you and me. Remind yourself that you simply do not need to eat everything on your plate just because it’s there. Take a doggie bag home and stretch out that meal for one to two additional meals. Or better yet, if the meal is not particularly healthy, leave what remains on your plate in the restaurant and in your past.
4. Redefine the Activities Involving the People with Whom You Would Ordinarily be Dining Out. It is possible to enjoy time with together by engaging in activities that do not include the consumption of food and beverages. Some ideas to chew on (pun intended): take a walk in the park or at the beach or somewhere else in nature, or take dance lessons together. The point is there are tons of low-calorie/no-calorie options for sharing time with people, so redefine how you spend your time, at least while you are working towards your weight loss goals.
5. Plan in Advance. Part of my weight loss coaching is to have clients plan each week, in advance, what they will eat and drink, including when they will eat out, and when they will enjoy any dessert or drinks. We do have the power to plan for what we WILL and WILL NOT do when it comes to food and drink intake, and planning in advance reduces considerably the likelihood that you will too often experience the “eating out” backslide during your weight loss journey.
To get started on a deeper dive into permanent weight loss, click on the calendar below to schedule a FREE mini-session with me. What do you have to lose but some weight??