Being Social While On a Diet

The question of all questions…Is having a social life possible while being on a “diet”

What is a social life?

As an introvert who only knows Netflix and Chill, going out with friends is very few and far between. BUT, when it does happen, I am more often than not on prep. Well, at least for the last year that has been the story of my life!

Now, let me preface this by saying I do not coach this lifestyle. I don’t think that you should be restrictive to where you aren’t LIVING. I don’t think that if you are trying to make healthier choices you need to lock yourself in your house 24/7. I am telling you how I have handled being social with having to be on a “diet”. Don’t get it twisted! : )

My friends and family have gotten use to the “No thank you” I have on repeat when offered food or drinks. Actually, rewind, they have gotten use to asking, “Are you on prep? Can you eat?” And yes, I know how that sounds. “But Caitie, you said you don’t agree with a restrictive diet!?” Yes, but with the hobby that I love, aka bodybuilding, I have gotten use to that lifestyle. And even though it sounds like those around me have been “trained” to not bug me about my choices, it has not always been that way. And I know for many of you, it is still a struggle.

Rewind to 5-6 years ago when I began competing. Strict dieting became a part of my life. I wasn’t phased by the tubberware lifestyle. I wasn’t phased by saying “No” or always being the DD. I was taught early on about black coffee, ordering plain chicken, sauce on the side, blah blah blah. Everything that made food bland or easy by bringing my own I did because if competing was my goal, then sacrifice I did.

The only thing that seemed to be an issue was getting those around me on board that I was ok with not eating out or drinking. I can’t tell you how many dinners I went to and was questioned and criticized for not part taking in the “breaking of the pizookie”. How many holidays I brought my own food and the amount of sideways glances I would get. Or the best, when others were LITERALLY upset with ME because I wasn’t eating their food or getting wasted!

Um, wait what? YOU’RE upset with ME because I can’t eat the catered BBQ and the homemade chocolate chip cookies? Yeah, forget the drool that I have dripping down my chin on to my plain ass chicken breast. Forget the gallon jug I am drinking from instead of clinking glasses of champagne to celebrate, let me comfort you!

As the years went on, people began to realize that usually me going out and NOT being on prep was a once in a life time ordeal. The questioning got less, the pressuring to eat got less, the looks changed to support and the “Poor me” (as in the host) turned into “Let me know when you can eat and we are going all out!”

Dieting and being a social lite is HARD, I get it more than you know, BUT it can be done. Your purpose, your goals, wants and needs need to be stronger than the cookie sitting on the dessert table at Cindy’s wedding right now! Because guess what? In 3-6-12 months, that cookie can be made again, ordered again and will tasted even better because you know you completed your goals by saying no in the moment.

What are my top 5 tips for getting through social gatherings while on a diet of any sort?

  1. STAND YOUR GROUND. Whether you are on this diet for a bodybuilding show, if you are dieting because you HAVE to lose weight for health reasons, if you have certain allergies, etc. Don’t let the pressures of family and friends make you feel bad and give in to the temptations. No means no and they need to understand that!
  2. KNOW YOUR GOALS. Know why you are saying no to some tasty treats. Are you just saying no because you are restricting certain things in your diet? Are you saying no because you don’t want to over indulge in front of people? If you said yes to those questions, first we need to reevaluate your choices and the “diet” someone has you on! BUT if you are saying no because it is a need, a must, a health risk, make those goals prominent in your life and don’t faulter over a missed shot at the bar with the girls.
  3. EAT BEFORE OR AFTER. I chose this option a lot, especially if it was a party with hors d’oeuvre and not a sit down meal. I was able to fill up on a meal at home with foods I know were ok for me and I could just sip my water and be pleasant and full while socializing. I always made sure I saved something for after the party as well because whether there is dancing or a lot of standing, ya girl was hungry after a couple of hours out being social!
  4. BRING YOUR OWN MEAL. I did/do this a lot when going to a restaurant or a family function where I know there will be nothing for me to eat that fits because due to A LOT of hidden calories. How to hide it? Show up with meal, hide in the fridge, when everyone is getting their buffet style meal, plop your food on a matching plate, microwave and BAM!
  5. ALWAYS KEEP YOUR WATER CUP FULL! So cousin Billy can’t refill it will alcohol you don’t want to drink. 2. So you can fill up on water and have no room to snack. 3. It’s good to drink water, pee clear and keep your body flowing!

At the end of the day, you need to make your stand against those who won’t agree with your lifestyle. They won’t agree with your choices. They will tell you to lighten up and just have a bite. If your goals and journey are worth it to you, if your health risks are that high, you will stand your ground. If not, THEN ENJOY THE DAM COOKIE!

 

 

Counting While Eating Out

How to Eat Out and Stay on Point!

This is a question I get asked time and time again from clients:

How do you eat out and still stay on track with my macros?

 Well my friends, it is really not as hard as you would think, but for some, an idea they wouldn’t think of because at the end of the day, who wants to put in all that extra work right?

When it comes to eating out for a birthday dinner, date night with boo or happy hour with friends, the last thing we want to do is track a calorie or count a macro. Eating out is meant to be fun, eat foods you don’t normally cook and enjoy a cocktail with friends! I GET IT! But for those who have set fitness goals or even for those who MUST lose some weight for health reasons, extra precautions need to be put in place to have that fitness-lifestyle balance.

 Now, don’t make this process more complicated than it has to be. It actually takes no more time than the car ride to the restaurant!

Please also take into account, EVERYONES MACROS ARE DIFFERENT!

Please just take these tips and apply them to your personal numbers!

My top tips for eating out and staying on track:

1.     Find out where you are going ahead of time. The earlier you know where you are going, the better you can prepare yourself and your food choices to fit the meal of your dreams!

a.     Decide if you are going to be indulging in some cocktails along with your meal or some sinful tastes of dessert after! That may also play a role in how you set up your day or how you choose what to eat.

b.     Depending on how far in advance you have found out about where you are eating, stalk the menu like it’s your new favorite book! Look that thing over 5x’s! Get a feel for what this place offers and what you want to indulge on, if anything!

2.     When you have a feel for what the restaurant serves, you can set up the rest of your day so you can fit in some tasty treats! The easiest way to fit things in is to have somewhat of a “boring” day of eating! If you are going to an Italian place, we all know that carbs and fats will run the meal. SO, during the day, focus on your protein numbers. Have an egg white omlette for breakfast, have a chicken/turkey salad for lunch, keep the snacks to some deli meat or a protein shake. Continue to feed your body (WE DON’T STARVE) but put your focus into the macro that you know this restaurant will most likely serve the bare minimum.

3.     Keep your water intake high. Most places use more salt than you are used to and can cause that bloated, eye puffiness we all dread after a night out of eating and drinking. Keep chugging that H2O all day and make sure with the meal, take a sip or 2 of water with every bite. I like to do the Heidi Powell trick and every time I take a drink, I take 10 big gulps. Try it and see how much your water increases daily!

4.     Make sure to get some sort of “green” to go with dinner. If you are having pasta or a burger, order a side salad. If you are getting a steak and mashed potatoes, order a steamed veggie. If you are getting Mexican, eat the shredded lettuce on the taco LOL! Keep your fiber up where you can so things go in and out the same as usual!

5.  Once you have put your order in, once you have added in the correct amount of food into your My Fitness Pal, once you have put your napkin in your lap and have taken your first sip of your cocktail, ENJOY THE MEAL! There is no stress, there is no what if. If you wake up tomorrow 2 pounds up and puffy eyes, oh well! Drink some water and go for a swim or walk. Don’t have any regrets, don’t have any guilt for going out and having fun!