06 June 2013

How to Get Social while Keeping Your Diet Intact

This is a guest contribution from Elizabeth.

how to get social while keeping your diet intact

I'm not going to lie, staying on your plan (whatever that might be) when eating out or going to parties and other social events is not easy. This is something I've always struggled with myself. However, over the last three years of losing more than 150 pounds, I've found a few things that help me.
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1. Seven ways to Stick to Your Diet When Eating Out
If I know I am going out to eat at a certain restaurant, I look up their nutritional information online before going. This way, I can plan my meal and fit it within my calorie budget for the day. Many restaurants now have that information online. If it's a last minute dinner, you can't pick the restaurant, or you can't find their nutritional information, then there are a few ways I handle this: 
  • I order water or unsweetened tea to drink. You can waste hundreds of calories if you get soda and keep getting refills. 
  • Skip the appetizer or bread. Or, if you do have bread, limit yourself to one piece of bread or one roll. 
  • If you like fish, check out the menu for baked or grilled fish. Avoid things that are fried. 
  • Chicken dishes are often a good choice, or you could also get a small steak (6oz). 
  • Pasta dishes are usually tons of calories and I've seen some that are 1,200 calories per plate, so avoid those. 
  • Order a healthy side, like a steamed vegetable. Avoid loaded baked potatoes or french fries. 
  • If you drink alcohol, limit yourself to 1 glass of wine or beer. Don't get one of those drinks big enough to fill a bathtub. ;)

2. Another Tips to Survive Parties and Social without Sacrificing Your Diet
If it's a special occasion and you do splurge, don't fret. One meal out isn't going to make or break you, so if it's your birthday or other special occasion don't worry about it. Don't use every occasion you eat out as a reason to overindulge though. It's always someone's birthday or anniversary or some holiday. I don't eat out a whole lot, but when I do, these are things that have helped me stay on track.
how to get social while keeping your diet intact
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When you're attending a party or other function, try to find out what kinds of foods will be there. You can even enter them into your food diary or log (I use Sparkpeople's food tracker) before you go to help you stay on track. If it's an occasion like a wedding, of course let yourself have some cake. Just don't overdo it on drinks. Drink a lot of water to help fill you up.

3. Tips for barbeque season
For occasions like barbeques, you could have a hamburger without the bun to save calories, and just limit your portions of things like macaroni or potato salad. I know it's hard when you're at a picnic and everyone is snarfing down hot dogs like there is no tomorrow, but you can enjoy yourself without overdoing it. What works for me is to make sure I've eaten healthy all day beforehand. If you're starving when you get there, you'll end up eating way more. Sometimes everything looks good, but you know how BBQs are. There is usually SO much food. So, I will let myself have a spoonful of each thing. For instance you could have one tablespoon or so of potato salad, 1 hot dog or hamburger without a bun, a small amount of chips and dip, and a small amount of dessert. Eat a tiny piece of cake and 1 cookie if it's a situation where there are tons of desserts and you'd like to try different ones.

how to get social while keeping your diet intact

If I am asked to bring something, I try to bring something healthy, like a bowl of fruit salad, or a nice green salad. Then I can have a big bowl of fruit or salad to fill me up so I am not as tempted to eat junk. One thing that also works is not hanging out by the food table. Move away when you're done getting your food.

I know these situations are tough, so have a talk with yourself before you go, and remind yourself of why you want to eat healthy. Will overindulging be something you regret the next day? Think of your goals and your health and remind yourself of how unhealthy certain foods are, and that you really don't need them to be happy. You can have your cake and it eat too, you just can't have the appetizer, huge main course, bread, drinks, AND the cake. :) It's all about balance. I hope these tips are helpful. 

About Elizabeth
Elizabeth with 151 lbs difference: 325 lbs vs 174 pounds
Elizabeth is a former overweight person. She'd been on many diets (even slim fast as a child) and lost and gained weight throughout her life. There was a time she really believed she'd never be able to lose weight and would be obese forever. She kept gaining weight after having kids and felt too overwhelmed to deal with it. In 2010, she started tracking her calories at a free website called Sparkpeople, started walking and lost weight. She prooves that it's possible to change when you just decide you will never give up. She blogs and inspire people on The Singing Bird and From Fat to Fit on Facebook.

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  1. I LOVE THESE TIPS!!!!!!!!! This is somthing I STRUGGLE with.... mostly because my boyfriends family uses every holiday/special occassion as an excuse to throw a huge party with tons of delicious food!!!! Great Tips girl!

  2. These are some great tips Elizabeth. :)
    My birthday is in July and I want to splurgeee.lol

  3. Great tips! Over the last year or so I’ve stopped eating/buying French fries with most of my meals out, and I really don’t miss them. I also brought a spinach and strawberry salad to a BBQ once. I think the family looked at me like I had three heads. (It was a pretty darn tasty salad, too!)

  4. Awesome Tips!!! Congratulations on Your Weight Loss and Finds Ways to Maintain It on an ongoing basis. God Blessings to You and Everyone. Have a Wonderful Weekend. Hugs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Great post! Love all the tips. You look great!

  6. Thanks for your tips..
    i always eat healthy when eating out and i enjoy it :)
    all my frds know i eat this way and they seldom give me junk food ;)

  7. Elizabeth is such an inspiration. I know if she can do it, I can too. Thanks everyone for stopping by here and take time to comment.


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