Recently I have noticed that I have been having trouble keeping tabs on my weekend nutrition. The week is nice and long and I feel like I need a reward for all the effort and perhaps perseverance shown over the last 120 hours.
Although I do not go all out most of the time, I do find that come Monday I have lost some of that headway on the scales that I had achieved the previous week.
Now, I could go into an all or nothing mode and make a vow to not go out for dinner or cut out all alcohol for the foreseeable future. Believe me I have done that before and seen results but have had no fun and almost lost my fantastic wife over it.
A much more realistic approach is needed for me to have fun, be social, have a drink and enjoy some nice food.
I am going to list a few pragmatic pointers you can apply to your weekends when you are going out for dinner to make sure you stay on track.
1. Plan ahead. –
Having a solid plan for your weekend is the possibly the greatest place to start. If you know you have a birthday to attend or a dinner date, you have the ability to nutritionally reverse engineer the situation. You can begin to scale the nutrition for the day around the event. For example, the chances of you eating enough protein out at dinner is going to be more difficult than you eating enough carbs. Making sure you prioritise protein leading up to the event with emphasis on vegetables will allow you some leeway to enjoy some more carbs and yummy things come dinner.
2. Stay Mindful. –
Here at NW Personal Training we are massive advocators of mindful eating. This mean being present with your food and surroundings. What better place to put this to practise but when eating with friends and family. The rules are: chew your food, put your cutlery down after each bite, have a drink of water, converse and repeat. It is so simple but very effective as it regulates your hunger signals. Aim to make your meal last 15-20 minutes, if you are out chances are you will be seated for a while, therefor savour the meal.
3. Do not arrive Starving –
The Idea of turning up hungry to dinner or a reservation seems like a good idea as you can fully enjoy the food. However, every time I have been starving and out for dinner I have ended up over ordering and filling up on bread.
Instead, refer to my first point and eat something small and high in protein prior to arrival. You will have a clearer head and will have greater judgement with what you order.
4. Avoid Buffets & Share -
Buffets are a great idea, all you can eat, stuff yourself go for it. That’s the problem, it’s way too enticing and you may end up over eating the highly palatable foods. If you are at a Buffet spend more time at the salad section and mould the situation in your favour. You can actually use it to build a perfectly balanced meal. Sharing is also a great way to make sure you manage your calories, pick a sharing platter and aim to take some home with you.
5. Don’t worry about everyone else -
I have always found it fascinating how the ordering process has the ability to influence people’s opinion on what they want. For example, the first person’s order will set the tone for how the rest of table may decide. If it is a large order with a bottle of wine the following person may feel obliged to follow suit. To avoid this, try to position yourself to order first or have your other half order for the both of you. It may help you feel less pressure in the process and make others order a little differently and for the better.
6. Coffee over Dessert -
This is a nice simple one, try to skip the dessert menu and opt for a coffee. If its late go decaf or enjoy a nice walk around the town before you head home.
With the weekend always around the corner try to enjoy them, remember it is a time to enjoy the family and put your feet up. With that being said, a new week always starts, it will be a shame to see all that hard work be ruined on a consistent basis because you failed to put a few keys nutritional plans in place.