One of the hardest things about starting a new diet or weight loss journey is having the strength and will power to stay compliant and ‘on track’ whilst you’re simply trying to enjoy everyday life.
And by this, I mean socializing and going out for meals with your friends and family.
One option is to hire a home chef who could cook every single meal for you from fresh, make it delicious, keep it paleo / keto / whatever your nutritional preference and invite all your friends and family over for a siesta.
How hard would you find it to stick to your healthy diet then? Pretty easy I guess if it’s delicious and already prepared fresh
But of course, most of us don’t have a personal chef (I know I certainly don’t!), and because of this we often end up eating out with friends and family, A LOT.
And this is life! And I think you should enjoy it!
I believe that life is to be enjoyed, treasured and lived to the fullest, and that involves socialisation, evening meals, quick lunches, BBQ parties, birthday parties etc etc… and I don’t believe we should sacrifice our sanity for our weight loss goals. Food shouldn’t be a worry, food should be fun!
So how do I socialise and still manage to stay healthy and maintain my current weight???
Well, I follow a simple set of rules that ensure I can enjoy my social life without feeling guilty about my waistline or losing my sanity.
Here’s my Top 12 Tips to Weight Loss in a Modern World;
1) Order before you leave the house
Most restaurants these days have a website and their menus can usually be found online. The bonus with this is that you can have a good look at what they serve before you even walk through their doors. So, if you know where you are going you can already place your order in your head and eliminate any temptation to order that………. Another bonus tip here is that you can also call the restaurant beforehand and ask if they can accommodate your needs, eliminating any stress and guilt before you even get there!
2) Eat before you get to the event
This tip is great for birthday parties because you can ensure you are full up on from a healthy meal before you need to make a difficult excuse not to eat their birthday cake.
3) Try to have an influence within your social group as to which restaurant you visit
If you’ve been eating a certain way for a while, then odds are you already know of a few restaurants that will accommodate your personal preferences. So, don’t be afraid to share this knowledge and recommend these restaurants to your friends and family for your social gathering.
4) Never go to certain restaurants
Many chain restaurants aren’t as focused on customer satisfaction as they are on selling their meals and making a profit. Therefore, they may not be as accommodating as some private restaurants and might not be as willing to adjust their menus for you. Also be aware of restaurants that offer buffets type meals as these generally contain high levels of GMO.
5) Don’t be shy when asking questions
The bottom line is you are the customer and they are the service provider. It’s their job to ensure that you are happy with both the service and food you receive, so it should be just the way you want it! This is true even if someone else is paying the bill, you are still the customer and entitled to the same quality of service and the level of satisfaction as the bill payer. Remember the customer is always right.
6) Don’t be afraid to ask the chef
If you have already asked the waiter a question about the preparation or ingredients within a meal and they say sorry they don’t know, it’s perfectly ok for you to polity ask them to ask to chef. This is because he will both know the answer and have experience with food allergies.
7) Say you are allergic
All restaurants understand that some individuals will have allergies and food sensitivities, and most are extremely respectful of this. There is no shame here and I do this at every restaurant I visit. I tell the waiter that I am allergic to both gluten and cooking oils and I’m yet to find a restaurant that won’t at least try to help accommodate my needs.
8) Ask what oil the food is cooked in
This is quite a common question for waiters already, due to amount of people who are vegan or vegetarian or celiac and the waiters will be happy to find out for you if they don’t know the answer already. I recommend only cooking in coconut oil or animal fat (geese, duck or bacon) and avoiding any vegetable oils (as they are highly chemically altered) and olive oil (because heating olive oil damages the enzymes).
9) Ask for “dry fried” or no oil
By asking for your meal to be dry fried (cooked in no oils) this eliminates the worry or possible embarrassment you may feel by asking in front of your social group. You could also ask for your meal to be baked or boiled, depending on your chosen dish.
10) Don’t let the wait staff leave temping bread or starters on the table
This one is really simple; if it’s not there you won’t be tempted and you won’t eat it (or pay for it!).
11) Be aware of added sugars
Most restaurant provided condiments, such as ketchup, mayonnaise, sauces and dips, contain a high level of sugar. So, play it safe and take your own. I do, my favourite is my home-made Paleo Baconnaise dip.
12) Substitute your fries or side salad with lightly cooked vegetables
This is because there is way more nutrients in vegetables than salad, and the less cooked the veggies (the more raw) the less damaged the enzymes are in the food. To simplify; soggy veggies = less nutrients.
Don’t stress……. Obvious if you are allergic to any foods then this is a rather big deal, however, if you don’t have any sensitivity then don’t over stress… simply do the best you can with these 12 tips and ensure you enjoy your social event…. Isn’t that what you are there for?
These 12 tips have helped me maintain my weight for over the last 10 years now whilst I’ve been traveling, socialising and enjoying my life. I have found that by using these 12 tips I can still go have fun with my friends and family and not worry about my diet or weight loss goals niggling in the back of my head whilst I should be enjoying the moment.
Just remember that there are always options and socialising whilst eating healthy doesn’t have to suck!
To your health,