When trying to get in shape and lose body fat, a big concern people have is what will happen to their social life. Will you have to stay in every night? Can you not enjoy time out with friends anymore?
Another concern revolves around meals out, which are seen as having a negative effect on fat loss progress. As a result, many people unnecessarily restrict themselves and end up feeling miserable with the process.
The reality is that you can eat out and make progress but what strategies can you implement to ensure that this is the case?
Plan In Advance
The first thing you need to do is plan and plan well. You will need to know what you are likely to be consuming during the meal out and organise your nutrition around that. Make sure you have a good idea of what you are going to have, work out how many calories you will consume and then fit in lower-calorie, higher volume meals earlier in the day, such as lean protein, lots of vegetables, and foods high in fibre, to help you stay full and satisfied. Managing your calories is one of the best skills you can learn when it comes to fat loss and getting in shape, whilst still enjoying your life.
Be Active Beforehand
It is vital that you are active on the days when you go out in the evening. This is so that you will have burned plenty of calories beforehand and therefore any potential damage that is caused by the meal out is limited. When it comes to what exercise you should do, there is no fixed answer, but a good, quality resistance training session is always a good idea to keep things ticking over. If you do not want to train that day, cardio is also a good option, whether that be increasing your number of steps or having a session on the exercise bike, rowing machine or treadmill. Keeping your output high is a great way of giving you room to enjoy your meal out.
Make Smart Choices
When you go out for a meal, so it is important to still enjoy yourself and have a great time with others. However, what you do during those events will be key. For example, going for lower calorie options, such as leaner cuts of meat and spirit mixers when it comes to alcohol will help you enjoy social events and stay within your calorie intake. Having a balance when you eat out is vital, and while you may have plenty of calories in the bank when you start, it is important that you still stick with foods that don’t take your calories overboard.
Consume In Moderation
Cutting food groups out completely in a regimented way makes the process arduous, boring, and unsustainable, which often leads to you giving up completely. So, it is very important that you allow yourself to have the foods you enjoy eating, but in a controlled manner that does not throw you off track. If you are someone who struggles to control yourself, you may have to get to a point where you choose another food, but learning to eat in moderation and stick to your target is an excellent skill to develop. So, the key is not to binge. Enjoy the foods you like, fit them into your calorie intake and you will make progress with an effective, enjoyable lifestyle.
Make Meals Out A Treat, Not A Regular Occasion
Although you should indeed treat yourself to meals out so that you have an enjoyable, sustainable lifestyle, it is better to ensure that they stay as treats and not regular meals. Cooking at home allows you to track your nutrition far more closely and gives you the flexibility to include ingredients that you enjoy. So, identify when you would like to eat out and keep it to one to two nights per week so that you can stay on track of your nutrition and keep progressing.
Despite what you may fear, you can certainly eat out and continue to progress. However, you must plan in advance, be active beforehand, make smart choices, consume in moderation and ensure that eating out is not a regular occurrence. Apply these strategies and you will have the perfect balance of being able to enjoy yourself and staying on track with your fat loss goals.
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