First of all, congrats on not only wanting to make smart choices when you’re in a comfortable environment; at home, for example. It might be a bit hard to believe that choosing a salad over steak and mashed potatoes or having one glass of wine instead of 6 beers will make a difference in your life, but it most-definitely will in the long run. Want to know why?
Consistency is key.
Yes, you’ve heard it a million times. I don’t care. Anyone trying to make some changes to the way they feel physically by trying to eat healthy for certain periods of time and binge later or by going to the gym every day for 2 weeks but then stopping for a month, will probably get annoyed at the thought of consistency being key. Yet, once you’ve been persistent with your healthy lifestyle choices you’ll start noticing results or at least a positive change in your mentality, which is, in a way, addictive.
This is also why I have decided to share some tips on how to deal with certain situations and on how to stay consistent with your choices when circumstances make it harder.
Dinner with friends or family
Be very up front with them from the beginning. There’s no point in trying to hide the way you’re living and the things that make you feel best. That only complicates your life. If you keep showing them, time and time again, how serious you are about staying consistent wherever you are, they will eventually start to accept it. Don’t expect them to understand, be happy if they accept it.
Of course, if you get to help choose the restaurant or menu, it is easy to check out the food that’s offered or pick out what you’d like to eat beforehand. If you know you don’t eat red meat, just be clear and tell your friends/family you’d rather not go to that one meat place.
Yet, remember to be respectful of the other’s preferences. If you’re with a group of 10 meateaters that are dying to eat a big steak, just have something beforehand to fill you up and have a small salad or some sides at the restaurant. The same goes if you don’t get to choose the place you’re going to. There will always be one of these options:
- Sides (green beans, broccoli, mixed salad)
- Some kind of fish (seabass, salmon, tuna)
- Salads (just hold the dressing, cheese and croutons)
- Meat like chicken or beef (instead of potatoes, fries or pasta as for more veggies)
I have probably mentioned this a million times, but I eat when I’m bored, which is not very handy one airplanes. Luckily I don’t have to do extremely long flights very often but it does happen from time to time. The way I deal with this is by:
- Trying to buy fruits like apples and bananas that are easy to carry and eat whenever.
- Eat a lot of low calorie food. I’d rather bring a juice or smoothie than a pack of nuts.
- Bringing protein bars (Quest bars are amazing, avoid really sugary ones with dried fruits and nuts).
- Drinking huge amounts of water to keep me full.
- Having big meals before getting on planes. There’s always a way of finding a big salad with some protein and potatoes/pasta or even sea food at airports. By having a large meal before take-off you’ll most-likely stay full for a couple of hours.
This is hard, but when they bring the trays with food, decline. Yet, if you can’t (I totally understand), don’t be too hard on yourself and just have some bread with jam, that strange looking pasta ‘salad’ and/or the berry yogurt they always give. Seriously, it’s ok.
YES. I love this part because I love going to the movies and I love that it’s an excuse to have (healthy) treats. Before going, I usually avoid having large meals because I would much rather have more treats once I’m there.
These are some of the things I bring with me (yep, kind of a rebel for sneaking in food in to the movie theater):
- Quest bars or other protein bars (Squarebars are amazing)
- Atkins cookies
- Dark chocolate (Lindt’s sea salt one is, just… go try it). Don’t bring the entire pack though, you won’t be able to control yourself. Even if you tell me you will, I won’t believe you.
- A banana, berries or an apple (I suggest getting nutbutter in a little bag to bring with you, mhh)
- A nice fruit juice
- Propercorn (sweet and salty) or I just get some salty popcorn. Not great, but if your meal wasn’t too big beforehand this is still a much better choice than nachos, M&M’s or sweet popcorn.
- Chirps are AMAZING. They’re only 110kcal per pack, taste like chips (well, kind of) but conain 50% less fat and are higher in protein.
There are plenty of other places where it is hard to stay consistent such as at other people’s houses, on a road trip etc. You just need to be aware that it might get a bit difficult to do things as you normally would, but there is always a way to work around such events. If you know you’re going to a dinner with a fixed menu you can always go for a 45min run beforehand and eat a bit less the rest of the day. Don’t do this every day but every once in a while is fine!
Remember that all of the situations I have named above are about having fun and not about worrying about what to eat. If you didn’t know you were going to eat more at dinner; you ended up having some cake, fries or ice cream, don’t worry about it and think of how you can get back on track the next day.