From birthday celebrations and anniversaries to work events and potlucks… how do you manage to stay on track without being derailed by junk food? Unfortunately, this answer isn’t so cut and dry. There will always temptations, but the key is practicing these habits REGULARLY so they become easier over time!
Trust your trainers when they say, a little bit of sacrifice will go A LONG WAY!
1. Plan ahead –
- Restaurants: Look at the menu ahead of time. It’s called GOOGLE. Mostly every menu is accessible online so there is no excuse NOT to know what you are walking into.
- Friend/Family Dinner: Politely ask them what they’re serving. If they are lacking vegetables or a clean protein, offer to bring a dish of your own! They won’t mind!
- Training Day or Rest Day? Eat according to your level of activity.
- If you were a couch potato, think about your BFF’s which are your PFF’s: Protein, Fiber and Fat!
- But if you had an awesome workout, enjoy a quality protein with a side of your favorite carbs (ex. pasta, rice, potatoes).
2. Never go starving –
- The worst thing you can do is arrive at your destination absolutely ravenous. Having to rely on “others” to feed you isn’t the most ideal situation because of the possibility of limited options. If the food options are out of your hands, then it is best to eat a lighter meal ahead of time (ex. protein shake or a salad topped with protein).
- If you’re at the mercy of the potluck lunch or sandwich tray, just make the best decision. It’s likely that you won’t get in enough protein or veggies, so make sure you have a protein shake or healthy snack as a back-up.
3. Back-up snacks –
- Speaking of back-ups… Here are some things that you can keep in your desk drawer, purse or the fridge at work:
4. Limit the table-side bread –
- If you’re dining with others that refuse to give up the bread, it’s hard to say no because it’s visible and within arms reach. simply cover the bread with a napkin. So grab a small piece and ENJOY.
- If you feel like you lack the self-control to have only a small piece, then move on to the next step (order a small salad as the others are cramming the carbs).
5. Starter salad or veggies –
- Restaurant or not, by starting with leafy greens or veggies you are setting yourself up for success! You are more likely going to make a better decision when ordering your entree after you fill your belly with vegetables.
- At a potluck? Load up your plate with any familiar vegetable and anything “green”. Limit the casserole-like sides if it looks like it smothered in cheese or breadcrumbs.
6. Sauces, Dips & Condiments –
- Restaurant dressings should always be asked for on the side. Opt for 1-ingredient dressings like olive oil, vinegar, freshly squeezed lemons, salt & pepper.
- If you’re a sucker for “creamy” dressings, just serve yourself a smaller portion.
- Ripe avocado makes for a great condiment because it’s loaded with healthy fats and nutrients.
7. Swap the Starch –
- Things to consider: Are you drinking alcohol? How many carbs have you already consumed? Was it your training day?
- If you’re at a restaurant, swap the carb for steamed or grilled veggies.
- If you’re staring at a sandwich tray, remove the bread and eat the insides.
8. Shareable dishes –
- Ordering something naughty? Then it’s best to share!
- Make sure to grab a plate, sit and enjoy the food. If you’re grazing you will likely consume more calories!
9. Choose drinks with care –
- Order unsweetened beverages like unsweetened tea, water with lemon, Perrier, etc.
- Cucumber Gimlet – swap the simple syrup for freshly squeezed lime juice
- Martini – order dry (light on the vermouth)
- Swap the Mai Tai or Long Island Iced Tea for a Mojito – order with extra mint & less syrup
- For Tequila lovers, swap the Margarita for a refreshing “Paloma”: grapefruit juice, club soda & lime with no sugar or salt on the rim
- Try Champagne? A 4 oz. flute is only 90 calories
- My favorite: Tito’s Vodka & Club Soda with lime. Only 65 calories per 1 oz. of vodka!
10. Rethink dessert –
- If you’re going for it, make sure to SHARE.
- Opt for fruit-based desserts or gluten free items.
- Make alcohol your “treat”.