Trying to lose weight? You can still go out to eat and lose weight! Find out how with these tips.
Every time I’m trying to lose weight (which is often), it feels like everyone around me is doing the opposite.
Most people seem to wish they could use a little weight, but for some reason it feels like everyone is always EATING. I love food just as much as the next person, but it feels like every single celebration in American culture revolves around it. There’s always a birthday or holiday.
And there’s always way too much food.
On top of the endless holidays, date nights and family outings almost always involve food. That’s cool and everything, but why does it feel like healthy food is frowned upon?
Have you ever gone to a party or gathering and felt like a snob for wanting to eat healthy? Have you ever gone out to eat and been ridiculed for ordering a salad? And why does skipping the cake at a birthday warrant frowns and looks that say, “You must be too good for us.” ?
Do you know what I mean?
At family events, I’ve noticed that even those of us who say that we want to lose weight and eat healthy don’t. It feels like you HAVE to eat unhealthy at social gatherings. And I think it’s wrong! So today let’s talk about navigating the waters of restaurant-going and social gatherings when trying to lose weight.
The truth about the people around you:
For starters, let’s get the negative stuff out of the way. That would be referring to the haters. Yes, haters. There will always be one. You know, someone who judges both people choosing to be healthy and people who are overweight. It’s a personal problem for THEM, not you. Choose to ignore it and move on.
Luckily, for every judgmental person out there, you have at least a few supporters. Sometimes, though, these people are silently watching. They are admiring your dedication and either wishing they had their own discipline, or cheering you on as they work on their own self-improvement. Either way, know that these people exist and you are motivating them even if you don’t know it.
Tips for trying to lose weight & still enjoying restaurants and parties:
Get your close family and friends on board.
Tell them that you have goals for a healthier lifestyle so that they know, in general. This helps cut down on excessive restaurant-going and nagging. It may even help others choose healthier offerings at family parties.
Invite them to do it with you.
Some people make fun of others and misunderstand them when they’re doing healthy things. Sometimes it’s just because they are insecure or wish they could do it, too. A sense of community and inclusion is born when you involve others in your journey by helping them start their own. Try inviting others to workout together, start a clean-eating challenge, etc. Bonus: People who train or try losing weight together are more likely to stay motivated and succeed.
Know before you go.
Know the menu and have a plan. Sometimes nutritional information is available and sometimes it isn’t. But knowing what you’re going to eat before you get to the restaurant will help you stay away from last-minute decisions. If necessary, don’t even look at the menu when you get there. For example, when I go to Red Robin, I always get the Ensenada Platter. (It’s basically a chicken breast with salsa and salad.) That’s because I know it’s caloric, fat, and protein value. Easy, peasy. As for parties, I try to look for veggies, fruit, and protein.
Stick to water whenever you can.
Stay hydrated, skip the sugar and calories. Drinks almost always have loads of sugar, which if not used up in the body, stores as fat. Bummer. I’m personally used to having water when I go out to eat because my mother was too cheap to buy anything else at restaurants. (Extra perk, save money.) Get in the habit of just ordering water and it will be a big help.
Allow yourself to indulge sometimes.
Pregnant me has indulged in a lot lately, and I’m not beating myself up for it. If you want to indulge, it’s fine as long as you set limits. I find that if I become too strict (no balance) I have a bigger tendency to fall off the wagon big-time. If you feel yourself struggling, allow yourself one drink or one dessert every now and then. It’s okay as long as you don’t over-do it.
Open up the conversation & set the example.
For some reason, talking about health and weight loss can still be taboo. Everyone encounters health issues at some point in life, and it should be okay to talk about it. You’ll find that everyone has insecurities. (The skinniest person I know just wants to gain weight so people don’t call her anorexic anymore.) But you’ll find that people actually want to talk about it because they want to know that others have issues, too. It keeps it real and honest, and we need that more than ever.
Celebrate the successful navigation of a party or outing.
Your health and dedication should be celebrated. Acknowledge and celebrate your successful eating at an outing or party. Nothing feels so great as crushing a goal or sticking to a plan. If you need to, write down how you felt after eating healthy when surrounded by unhealthy options. Then ride that feeling of accomplishment until you smash your next goal!
Overall, your own dedication to your own health will manifest itself in the form of bodily changes and a healthy mindset. You can still enjoy parties and going out to eat when you’re trying to be healthy.
The biggest weight-loss no-no:
In my opinion, one of the worst things you can do is avoid being social because you’re trying to lose weight. First of all, you don’t want to offend anyone. Skipping the occasional outing is okay, but communicating your reasons for skipping is important.
Secondly, being anti-social can really hurt our self-esteem and motivation. It can be harmful to our mental and emotional health. We all need relationships. It can be hard to find alternatives other than skipping entire events, but it can definitely be done. We all need to learn to live healthy without missing out on life.
I hope this helps and encourages you! What are your big weight-loss tips? Let me know in the comments below!