By now you know that a few of my relatives called me fat over the holidays and that I have been working hard on making small changes to my life, like improving my sleep and trying to eat better, tackling each meal one at a time.
I’ve only been on this wellness journey for a few days, and while it’s been challenging it hasn’t been impossible because I’ve been at home where I’ve dedicated time to cooking my dinner and preparing my lunches.
But today, I’m traveling.
And I’m going to find myself in two places where managing my diet is always the hardest: in airports and restaurants.
While I love eating out, I also realize that social eating and drinking are responsible for my challenges with maintaining a healthy weight. I called my accountability partners on my way to the airport and asked them what should I do to survive dining out while on a diet. They calmed me down and together we came up with three strategies that I’m going to try, and I wanted to share them here with you too. I have a feeling that this list will grow as I gain confidence, and practice it over and over. For now, here are some starters:
3 Strategies For Dining Out When You’re On A Diet
Before I left home this morning, I stuffed my purse full of fruit. I took out everything and anything that was unnecessary and filled it with bananas and pears–two fruits that are portable, easy to eat, and satisfying.
I brought these and ate them for breakfast.
Doing this made me feel like I was equipping myself with the tools I needed to start the day in the “victory column”. It’s also giving me some flexibility in case I struggle to make a better-for-me choice later on in the day. Once I arrive and get settled, I’m hoping to stop by a grocery store, and stock up on bananas and fruit to equip myself with some readily-available options that aren’t bad choices.
I’m traveling with my girlfriend and I want to have fun. I’m not going to let my struggle to eat healthier become an unwelcome guest on our trip. To combat this, I’m going to work to “order before I get there”–and try to give myself some options that give me the flexibility to have a good time, and minimize my stress once I have the menu (and temptation) in hand.
When the waiter comes, I’m also going to order first. If I know that my friend is having something indulgent, I will be twice as tempted to order something I shouldn’t. Ordering first works great for my personality because I hate to inconvenience the waiter by changing my mind after I’ve ordered.
I’ll also be on the lookout for “skinny menus“–a lot of restaurants are carving out special space for dinners with food allergies and doetary restrictions now. With this in mind, I’ll look there first and make selections from a “better” starting point when possible!
Set some boundaries before you leave the house.
I know that eating out is much more challenging than eating at home. But I also know that if I need to practice eating out and become better at managing my relationship with food and establishing some boundaries when enjoying food in a social setting.
This is not a strength of mine.
Acknowleding that this is a weakness, I also realize that this is why I suck at dieting. For me, food is a social activity and as I approach changing my behavior, I know that I will not be successful in losing weight or changing my eating habits if I don’t start to manage my eating a little better.
I’m planning to impose the, “if I don’t eat it here I don’t eat it there rule” on myself to make sure I’m doing what I can to minimize cheating.