The Christmas season can be a nightmare for people who are dieting. Office parties, family gatherings, Christmas dinner, New Years Eve and of course, drink – lots of drink!
Eating out once in a while isn’t a problem but when the evenings out come thick and fast it pays to have a plan formulated in your head so you are prepared. What you don’t want to be doing is saying ‘to hell with it, I’ll drop the diet and pick it up again in the new year.’
You don’t want to be ruining all the headway you have made just because you’ve had a few too many drinks and lost your will power!
Follow these tips for a night out and you will be fine.
Many of you will go without food and starve yourself all day when you know you are dining out tonight in the belief it will be ok to pig out later seeing as you’ve eaten nothing all day – WRONG.
Never go out hungry. If you sit down in a restaurant and pick up the menu when you are starving, selecting something healthy is going to be a hell of lot harder. Always remember the importance of breakfast and never skip it regardless of what you have planned for the day. Also, always take the edge off your hunger an hour before you go out to dine and then the light salad on the appetizer menu will look a lot more appealing.
For your main course you will want something that’s diet friendly. Exactly what will depend on your diet plan of course but if you are on our Man Made Diet and still in the weight loss stage then just ask them to hold the potatoes from your meal and that’s you sorted. Nowadays restaurants are so much more diet friendly and I usually find they ask if you would like extra veg or salad with your steak, chicken or whatever you ordered and of course, if you want you can.
If you are in the maintenance stage of the Man Made Diet then normally I would say go ahead and get fries with your steak (assuming you are under your carb intake for the week) if you want them but as it’s the holiday season we are covering here, chances are you are going to be faced with several family meals where its much harder to say ‘hold the potatoes’ so if you do have other gatherings coming up it may be best to keep carbs to a minimum while you have the option.
It is usually very easy to manage a low carb diet when dining out today because most restaurants have caught on to the fact that they need to have at least a few healthy options on the menu if they are to stay in business.
If you are on a low calorie diet it can get a little harder and you will probably have to guess the amount of calories in any given course unless you play it safe and go with what you know. Its worth checking to see if the restaurant has a menu online so you can research the meals before hand and at least have an idea of their calorie count.
While on that subject I’d just like to say hats off to New York’s Mayor and Health Department who did their part in the battle against obesity in America by banning trans fat from their restaurants, lowering salt levels, forcing the larger restaurant chains to declare the amount of calories on their menus and encouraging fresh fruits to be included on the dessert menu. A brilliant move that will come back to pay that great city back many times over in the years to come thanks to the improved health its citizens will surely have in the near future. I hope all the other major cities of the world will take note and follow their lead.
One of the benefits of drinking water is that it makes you feel full so when you are on a diet it’s a good idea to drink plenty of it throughout the course of the meal – The Man Made Diet allows you to eat as much meat, fish, veg and salad as you like so this won’t be a problem as you should be full after that lot.
So what about dessert? This is where many restaurants let themselves down (New York excluded of course) and a poor selection (health wise) seems to still be the norm. Personally I always go for the cheese board if I have any room left after the main course. If you feel you have to have something sweet (and if the wine has been flowing you may well do) try for something healthy like a frozen yogurt or fruit.
If your options at the restaurant are limited to regular desserts then how about sharing? Just order one between you and your partner or a friend or two. Chances are you won’t be the only one at the party watching their weight so you shouldn’t be short of volunteers if you do want to share.
A lot of people hate being on a diet at this time of year but there really is no need. Go out and enjoy yourself, it’s Christmas after all! Just be aware that meals and parties come thick and fast so just pace yourself and you won’t set your diet back by several months.
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