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How To Eat Out Without Blowing Your Plan

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 diet 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 as you work on your own healthy habits, it's important not to judge or criticize others for their own choices. No one wants to dine out with the food police reminding them how "good" or "bad" something is for them, the amount of calories in a dish or how much sugar they're consuming. You do you!

How to eat out without blowing your plan

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’m spending my calories on a good glass of wine rather than the tiramisu. It's all about personal taste and preference.

Eat Naked

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 consume of a high calorie dressing, rich and creamy sauce or the amount of butter you want on your potato. 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.

A word about alcohol. if you’re going to enjoy a fun drink, try to limit your cocktails to one or two and down a full glass of water in between. Aim for the lighter drinks, like a glass of wine or clear liquors mixed with soda and fresh fruit rather than sugary syrups. In general, the more frou-frou the drink, the more calories and sugar it contains (fun fact: 1 pina colada can boast up to 1000 calories!)

eating out without blowing your plan

Did You Mess Up?

Let’s say you went off 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 on your counter.

Don’t wait until Monday morning to get back on track. If this was a wild Saturday night, get back to your healthy habits Sunday morning by eating your usual breakfast and heading out for a walk. Don't waste a bunch of time and energy beating yourself up about what's already happened and what you cannot change.

Realize no one's diet or day to day is perfect (seriously, no one), so focus on progress and what you can do today. Each day is a new day: onward and upward friend!

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.

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