Socialising over food is what we like to do best. I’m not sure if it’s the dreary weather that forces us indoors, and in turn, to food, or whether we just place more of an importance on it as a culture. That, and alcohol!
Either way – there’s no getting away from it. If you like to socialise, chances are you’ll be faced with restaurant visits, and if you’re trying to lose weight it can be a minefield to know what to choose.
Here are some of my tips that help when I’m trying to be good but still want to enjoy myself.
Don’t starve yourself all day before the meal!
Why not? If you deprive yourself of calories all day, you’ll feel that starving you’ll be more likely to order a really calorific meal on the night. Make sure you have a light lunch, and then a snack an hour before heading out.
Have a look at the menu before booking or arriving
Most restaurants these days have their menus posted online. Have a look and see which options look the healthiest. If none look very healthy pick one that could be altered easily, and ask the restaurant if they can adjust it for you (grill instead of fry, for example).
Skip the bread basket
I know this is so much easier said than done when there’s a bowl of steaming bread in front of you, but just think how much more satisfying your meal will be when it arrives!
Choose a protein and veg option
Most restaurants have an option for a lean meat and vegetables. It may take a bit of working out if the menu is fancy, but you can always ask the waiter/waitress their recommendations. Also, be careful of salads as they can be drenched with calorific dressings. Ask for dressings on the side.
Make healthy swaps
If there’s an option, choose boiled potatoes or salad over chips, or vegetables over egg fried rice. Avoid pastas and other meals that come with creamy sauces. Instead, choose tomato based sauces as these will usually be less calorific.
This depends on your goals. If you’re trying to lose weight in a short space of time then maybe skip this step. But choose a desert if you fancy one! Try and choose a light desert such as fruit and ice cream, and avoid the indulgent hot chocolate fudge cake if you’re worried about the excess calories. But remember, you’re out to enjoy yourself. As long as you pick wisely most of the time you can treat yourself and still lose weight.