Maybe you've been on a roll with your eat better plan and weight loss goals, but now it's the weekend and your husband wants to go out, your girlfriends invite you to happy hour, or your neighbor is hosting a big bbq.
And that's when dread sets in:
Are fun foods and cocktails on your plan?
What will everyone think if you order differently?
Will friends and family just think you're being picky?
Maybe you should just give in and have what everyone else is having?
You don't want to feel the eyes of judgment and criticism on your every more.
And before you know it, the fun gets sucked right out of the experience.
The good news is there are a few ways you can honor your eat better goals... without worrying about the wheels falling off, the fear of making everyone's eyes roll, or feeling like you have to throw in the towel.
Look, it's normal to worry about the wheels falling off, especially if you've struggled with social situations in the past, felt challenged by fear and overwhelm wine dining out, or felt consumed by social pressure and not wanting to stand out.
Let's explore a few simple ways to help you feel in control so you can act in control, honor yourself and your healthy living goals.
Don’t Apologize... Reserve Judgment
So many people come from a place of apology, guilt or shame when they’re eating out or at a social event. They say things like, “Oh, I’m so sorry, I’m on a special diet. Would it be okay if...?” or, "Gosh I'd love to, but I'm on a diet and can't eat that."
Instead, ditch the dieter's mentality and be proud of your healthy living goals. It really is admirable that you’re taking a stand for you and your health! In this way, you can also a good example for people around you. Eating better is a choice, and it's yours and yours alone to make.
Remember how you talk about your food choices is just as important as the choices you make.
Start by choosing statements that start with "I get to ____" and, "I want to ____" and, "I can do ____." These foster an empowering mindset, putting YOU in the driver's seat of your choices with purpose and intention behind those healthier choices. And when you feel better about your choices, you eat from a place of mindfulness, enjoying every single bite!
Make Simple, Smart And Tasty Choices
With each meal, you have a caloric budget and you get to choose how you spend that budget. Would you rather have an amazing appetizer, or the chocolate lava dessert? Or maybe you can share to portion size both? The truth is we often go overboard when dining out, suddenly adapting a "last supper" mentality. When in reality, we can have those fun foods anytime. So instead decide ahead of time what it is you want most, and know you can always experience the other foods later.
This is why I teach my clients how to plan for fun foods, and make sure they're mind-blowingly good! In other words, don't waste your fun on any old "just because it's there" food, go for it because it's a tasty favorite and oh-so-amazing!
For example, let's say you’re at an Italian restaurant, and the bread is freakin'-fantastic, then have a piece or two and enjoy every last bit of it. If not... PASS and go for something else that is.
Personally, I’d rather indulge in a great glass of red wine rather than a tiramisu. It's all about personal taste and preference, there is no "right or wrong" answer. You do you!
Don’t worry, I’m not sending you to the nudist colony for dinner. Eating “naked” means ordering the dressings, sauces and butters on the side – that way you get to control how much you want to put on your food and as a result are able to control portions of those high calorie dressings, rich and creamy sauces and butters.
In my experience, a little goes a long way and I know I can avoid an upset stomach later by controlling how much of what goes on my food.
And the same can be said for cocktails too. Lighter versions of your favorite drinks are typically easy to order and waitstaff will often have some fun suggestions too. By ordering the "skinny" version of most cocktails you'll save loads of added sugars and feel better too!
Did You Mess Up?
Let’s say you went off your plan. Maybe it was a little, or maybe it was a lot. Worst case scenario: you end up, face down in a plate of nachos, having downed a pitcher of margaritas, with a to-go back of food sitting in your fridge the next morning.
Don’t wait until Monday morning to get back to your usual routine. If this was a wild Saturday night, get back to your healthy habits Sunday morning by drinking water, prioritizing foods that help you feel and function your best and moving your body. There is no benefit from spending time and energy beating yourself up for what's already happened and what you cannot change. Onward and upward!
Remember: no one's diet or day to day is perfect (seriously, no one), so focus on progress and what you CAN do just a little bit differently today. Each day boasts new opportunities!
Are you tired of starting over every Monday, hopping from diet to diet, wondering if you'll ever get it "right" so that you can lose the weight and become the best version of you? I’ve got you friend! Come join me inside my FREE women’s-only Facebook community: Eat Better with Coach Mindy. It's for busy women like you who are ready to lose weight, gain energy, get healthy and fit -- without restrictive diets or punishing food rules.