We’ve all been there… eating perfectly all week until a friend asks you out for lunch or dinner. It sounds great but the biggest thing holding you back from saying yes is the fact you know how difficult it is going to be choosing a ‘healthy’ option from the menu and undoing all the hard work you have put in thus far.
Let’s wake up to the real world. These things happen and socialising is healthy.
It just so happens you live in an amazing country where food is our culture. So unless you are going to de-friend everyone who doesn’t eat the wholefood, dairy-free, organic, vegan life you do, all you need to do is follow these simply steps and you’ll stay on track to reach your goals.
1. Stay away from foods that suck up and hide excess FAT.
Ever wondered why mushrooms on the breakfast menu taste so good? They are nature’s sponge when it comes to fat absorption and are usually cooked with tonnes of butter. Other culprits of hidden calories and excess salt include creamy pasta sauces with most pizza/ pasta dishes being oiled up to the max.
2. Stay away from WHITE and starchy carbs
White bread, white pasta, white rice etc; they taste amazing, yet are not very nutrient dense and convert to glucose in the blood stream pretty quickly. This will equate to feeling lethargic, giving you an increased appetite as well as increased fat storage.
3. Scrambled eggs should only be eaten when made by YOU.
The perfect scrambled – 1-2 full eggs, 3 egg whites, a dash of skim milk, a hint of salt and pepper and some chives (or herb of choice). Now enters the café scrambled – extra egg yolks, double cream, cheese, excess salt and the list goes on but you get my drift; if dining out for breakfast then poached eggs are the best option.
4. Drink water/peppermint tea with your meal
Use water to bulk your stomach before and during your meal. This will make you fuller quicker and won’t allow you to consume as much food. Peppermint tea may also aid in decreasing your appetite, so you’ll be satisfied faster.
5. If excess alcohol consumption is your weakness, then drive
If you find it difficult to keep your alcohol consumption to a minimum with certain friends, then drive to your rendezvous. Hopefully your common sense will force you to stop after 1 or two for the simple fact that you are a responsible driver. There should be no peer pressure to drink more and if there is, then you may have to re-think who your real friends really are!
6. Meet at places you know have healthy options or do your research on places you aren’t familiar with.
I only ever have meetings in café’s where I know there are healthy option on the menu. If a place is suggested that I’m not familiar with, I’m online looking up menus so I know exactly what I am going to eat. If nothing works for you, just suggest a different place.
7. Don’t go somewhere hungry and be conscious not to over eat.
It’s the same reason that you don’t do your weekly shopping on an empty stomach. When you are hungry you make poorer food choices and usually eat in excess. If a giant plate of food comes out it doesn’t mean you have to finish it all. Listen to your body and stop when you are satisfied.
8. Plan your outings to match up your cheat days.
Quite simple really – why not match up that one time a week you let yourself eat whatever you want with catching up with friends. Then you can treat yourself with and relax with a reward meal knowing that you have worked hard all week. But if like me and are constantly on the road, it sometimes doesn’t always work out that way.
Remember, most restaurants don’t care about how healthy their menu is, as long as it tastes AMAZING, the experience is A-class and they get a high rating on Urban Spoon or some other website. I say MOST because there is a slow shift occurring as the wholefood scene increases. However, some places will never change, excess salt, excess fat and excess sugar are all that are needed for your taste receptors to go wild; it’s just basic food science.
Eat clean and train hard,
Aaron is the Founder and CEO of the KX Group; Australia’s leading boutique high performance fitness offering comprising of Pilates, Barre and Yoga studios along with outdoor running groups and overseas fitness retreats. You can read more about Aaron here.