The Socially Fit Butterfly: How to Stay on Plan While Going Out

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It’s Friday night. You’re texting your friends. You’re on social media finding out who’s doing what and where. You get asked “Wanna go out?”  For most people, they immediately think “Yes! I wanna go out! Let’s do this!” But for a lot of dieters, the thought of going out and being social is actually really nerve-wracking.

 

The first thought for many people is “What am I going to wear?” But for dieters?? The first thought is “How am I going to transport my food to the bar?” and “Do I eat my dinner now so I’m full or do I try and eat dinner there?” or  “What if I get made fun of for drinking just water and not beer?” If your diet, or your meal plan as we like to say, is working for you, you shouldn’t be feeling deprived or restricted. And you shouldn’t be feeling so nervous about going out. But even the most disciplined dieters still struggle with being social and being fit.

 

Can the two actually go together? The good news is, Yes they can! It IS very possible to achieve this. The not so good news? It takes planning. And sticking to that plan. The main problem many dieters face is that they have no idea how to eat in social situations. Weddings, birthday parties, graduations, holidays. These are supposed to be fun and happy occasions. But just knowing that “your food” won’t be there can cause some panic.

 

Here are some Do’s and Don’ts of Dieting in Social Situations:

 

Do…

Have a planned cheat meal or drink (or both!). You’re out having a good time, you do deserve to have something that you wouldn’t normally have to eat in your fridge. So go ahead and indulge a little. Emphasis on a LITTLE. This is not planning a BINGE, this is planning a CHEAT. If you’re tracking macros or calories, it doesn’t matter. Do the math, figure out roughly how much this will “cost” you and decide if it’s going to be worth it.

 

Do not…

Wing it. Don’t assume you’ll just eat or drink whatever is served or whatever is available. Failing to plan is planning to fail, as they say. And going in with no idea of what to expect and just figuring it out as you go along is not a good idea. You’ll be tempted to overdo it for sure.

 

Do…

Your usual workout that day. It’s just another day. If you have a rest day scheduled, take it. If it’s a workout day, work out. Simple as that!

 

Do not…

Double your workout time just so you can go overboard with your food later. Don’t deviate from your plan. It’s important, especially when trying to create that habit, to stick to your set schedule. The second you do something different, even if you have good intentions, it could throw you off and create a BAD habit of over training.

 

Do…

Look ahead at the menu of the place you are going to be and make your decision prior to getting there. Waiting until it’s a surprise is just asking for a binge to occur. Plan the meal/treat/drink, order it as you planned to, and enjoy!

 

Do not…

Go overboard. Just because it’s a special occasion or maybe it’s just another Saturday night, there will be plenty more Saturday nights and plenty of special occasions. The temptation to “just have a little more” or “come on, live a little!” from friends or family can be difficult to say no to. At times like these you should remember how hard you’ve been working at your goal. As most people who fail at sticking to their diet will tell you, it’s not worth it.

 

Do…

Pack your food IF the situation calls for it. Let’s say it’s a party where guests are asked to bring a dish. This is the perfect opportunity to bring what YOU want to eat and YOU will eat. You won’t have to worry about offending anyone by saying No Thanks to whatever they offer you because, oh look! You brought your own! Everyone is happy.

 

Do not…

Feel guilty for having a treat or snack that wasn’t on your plan. We all screw up on our diet once in a while (okay sometimes more than once in a while) but feeling like you just committed a deadly sin is no way to cope. Move on, get over it, and get back on track ASAP.

 

Do…

Share these tips with your friends and fellow workout buddies. I would be willing to bet they all hit the panic button in these situations too. Let them know that it’s okay to go out, get out of the house, ditch the tupperware for one night, and live a little!  

 

 

 

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