A constant challenge when sticking to a nutritional program is that you start to feel like all social events revolve around food. Realistically, the majority of them do - especially in Summer. Hello BBQ!

The moment you turn down a social event or outing specifically due to dietary restrictions is the moment you define your diet as being non-sustainable and most often the time you throw in the towel. But isolating yourself and avoiding potentially tempting situations is a surefire way to set yourself up for failure. Instead, by choosing to continue to enjoy and attend social events and maintain your usual level of social activity, you will reinforce within your mindset that maintaining your 'diet' is doable despite your required food choices. 

Here are some tips to help you when dining out with friends:

1. Read the menu ahead of time. If you aren’t familiar with the restaurant or menu, be sure you visit their website and read it before you go. Being unprepared, you are more likely to make unhealthy choices by being hungry or distracted by the social event.

2. Have a protein snack before you go. If you’re hungry when you arrive at a restaurant, you may end up eating too much. One way to prevent this is to eat a healthy snack before you leave home.

3. Order first. Without knowing it, other people can influence our decisions. If you’re eating with a group that is likely to order something that doesn’t fit into your healthy eating plan, make sure you order first to avoid the temptation. Be strong and proud of how you are making conscious choices for your health and always order dressing on the side.

4. Order entree size. Studies show that people are more likely to overeat when they’re served bigger portion. If you are going to a restaurant where you know the portions are huge, try ordering two appetisers instead of a main course. This can help you fill up without going overboard with the calories.

 

Remind yourself that your 'diet' isn't an all-or-nothing situation. Sticking to your program when and where you can and making the right choices to indulge every now and then. But do it when you can make the most of it and enjoy it to the fullest, not just because it's convenient. You'll be glad you did!

 

March 23, 2022 — Jennifer Whalland