Dining out and social events while staying on track
Going out to eat and social events may be one of the most intimidating things to tackle while on your fitness journey. I personally used to be terrified of going out to eat because of the lack of ‘healthy’ options or fear that having one indulgent meal would ruin my progress. Well, I know much better now and can go into a restaurant confident in my choices regardless of whether or not what I choose is ‘healthy’. I can also go to a social event or party without the fear of losing control and eating everything. So what’s the secret? Well there’s a few concepts to understand & practice here, so let’s get into it.
What most health & fitness websites/blogs/influencers will tell you is to get the salad with grilled chicken and dressing on the side or to stick with protein & veggies, no oil. Neither of those are bad advice but here’s the thing- do you really want to order that every time you go out to eat? Probably not. Truth be told, I do sometimes order something along those lines but that’s only because it’s what I truly feel like, not something I feel I NEED to get in order to be healthy. So what do I order when I don’t feel like veggies and lean protein? Whatever I want. Yup, whatever I feel like getting! But HOW is getting the chicken tenders and fries going to keep me on track? Well..
I’m not going to eat past satiety. CRAZY concept, I know. But here’s the thing, our bodies are way smarter than we give them credit for. If we really listen to what they tell us (which most of us don’t around indulgent food), we’re not going to consume an absurd amount of calories. Being ‘off track’ is a mindset framed from a set of beliefs about food. If you listen to your body, you’ll never be off track, no matter what you are eating.
So now that you know that moderation is key, how the hell do you make it happen? Especially when that pizza or cheeseburger or sundae is SOOOOO good.
Unfortunately, this isn’t something that’s just going to ‘click’ right away, you have to practice. And if you don’t feel ready to practice with something more indulgent, start with your own meals. Start really paying attention to your satiety cues when you eat. Just because something is home cooked and ‘healthy’ and calorie friendly and blah blah blah, doesn’t mean you get a free pass to ignore your body’s satiety cues. The more you can be in tune with this, the more successful you will be when it comes time to practice with something more indulgent.
What I found to be the hardest part when it comes to stopping when full with more indulgent foods, was the fact that in my mind, I was telling myself I didn’t know when I’d get to eat this again so I may as well have it all. What a terrible way to think! 1. I was giving food WAY too much power. 2. I was subconsciously making this food something that was ‘off limits’ most of the time.
We need to take these foods OFF of the pedestals we put them on and ditch the scarcity mindset. These foods are always available to us if we let them but we have this fear that we’ll never have control over them so we place them in these ‘off limits’ or ‘special occasion’ categories. Then what happens when you do have them? You overindulge and feel like shit. A cycle that never seems to end for some people and the way they see food is %100 responsible for that.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Food freedom is possible, you just need to believe it is. You can indulge without ruining your progress, you can have more later if you want it, you don’t need to eat it all right now. I want you to unlearn everything you’ve been told by the health/fitness industry about avoiding certain foods, what to eat at restaurants, cheat meals etc. Instead, lets focus on the things that will actually help you:
Move your body
Drink enough water
Eat adequate protein & vegetables
Listen to your body
Stop putting foods on pedestals
…and you’ll never be off track again.
Let me know your thoughts & get at me with any questions!