Decision, decisions, decisions….
The average American gains weight during the holiday season and never looses it. Although activity is important, only about 20% of weight loss can be attributed to exercise, 80% is diet. So don’t think you can exercise away a bad diet! But, you can eat out at restaurants and go to holiday parties without totally derailing your healthy lifestyle!
Here are a few simple tips
- Eat healthy throughout the day. Eat lean proteins and veggies.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
- Don’t skip meals or “save up” for the night out. This can create a binging situation which can be as harmful emotionally as physically.
- If you are in control of the restaurant, then look around and find one that has locally sourced ingredients, one that has choices to support your goals. The cleaner the better!
- If you are not the one choosing, look at the menu online far enough ahead, AND when you are not hungry.
When you are looking at the menu online, go ahead and pick your entree’ and what sides you want. If there is a salad choice, look at the dressings and what is on the salad. Oftentimes they have croutons, fried onions, sugary nuts, dried fruit or extra empty calories you do not need and can ask for them to leave them off.
I experience food shaming all the time! I personally don’t care if someone thinks I should eat something I don’t want to have. It is usually just to make them feel better about their unhealthy choices. BUT If everyone is ordering an appetizer and you feel pressure to also order one, be prepared and think about what else you have chosen, and try to balance the meal. Pick something fresh and not fried, like a caprese salad or kale salad. Maybe scallops or shrimp?
When you get to the restaurant, do not look at the menu, or, maybe “fake it”. Don’t give yourself permission to change your mind! The atmosphere and aromas can cause you to make an emotional decision. Believe me, once the food comes and the conversation flows, you will not miss what you DID NOT order, you will enjoy what is in front of you. Stick to the plan!
I know for me, when I get to the table and start socializing, if I don’t have a plan, I will not be prepared when the server comes around, and I will order something random and be sorry. I make better decisions when I take the time to think them through.
Limit your alcohol and sugar
Not just because of the calories, but because it can change your perspective on your goals, and let’s face it, after a couple glasses of wine we just don’t give a damn anymore!
If you have a sweet tooth, and you know that you will partake in a dessert, limit the carbohydrates you choose in the appetizer and entree. Choose a fresh fruit dessert, or share with a few people at the table. You don’t have to forego all “treats”, just plan ahead!