It’s a common problem. You eat well during the week keeping within your maintenance or deficit calories and then come the weekend you’re eating out, having takeaway, a few drinks etc and any deficit you created during the week has been blown out of the water along with any chance of fat loss. 

However, being on a diet doesn’t mean you can’t eat out anymore or enjoy more calorie dense foods. Just follow some simple rules to help keep on track.

Tips for when you’re eating out

  1. If you are going out to eat, don’t over restrict your food intake that day. Starving yourself will only lead to over eating when you go out.
  2. Try and have a high protein snack a couple of hours before you go out to eat. Greek yogurt, a protein shake, some cottage cheese on crackers, or a boiled egg or two are all good options. It’s another way of making sure you don’t want to eat everything on the menu by the time you go out.
  3. Choose from either having a starter and main or a main and dessert or a main and an alcoholic drink. Otherwise you could find your eating an additional 2000kcal instead of 1000kcal. 
  4. Ask for dressings or sauces to be served separately. You can then control how much you are adding to your meal. Dressings alone can be a couple of hundred extra calories
  5. Try and opt for lean meat options like fish or chicken served with vegetables. Ask for a jacket potato instead of chips
  6. Some people think it’s a good idea but some don’t when a menu shows the calorie content of  meal. However it’s useful if you are trying to lose fat as it’s surprising as to how many calories are actually in meals. Usually they are at least half our daily recommended calorie intake and that’s just the mains.
  7. Try to eat mindfully and slowly so you recognise when you are full. You don’t have to clear your plate.
  8. Don’t try to “earn” your food by doing hours of cardio exercise the next day, it doesn’t work like that. If you did go a bit over the top then just  think about what better choices you could make next time and draw a line underneath it. 

Food freedom

Eating out once in a while isn’t going to damage your progress but if you do it regularly you may just have to be a little more mindful of what you are eating and be a little bit more conservative with your intake during the week so you have some calories in the bank so to speak when the weekend comes.

Recognise that whilst in a fat loss phase you are likely to have to make some sacrifices when it comes to food and eating out but remember it’s short term pain for long term gain. Once you’ve nailed your fat loss you can then start living your food life a little more freely.