One of the hardest things for anyone dieting to lose body fat and get lean is being able to sustain a ‘normal’ life and continue to socialise with friends and family. I’ve been fortunate enough to have a great support group of friends and family around me whenever I’ve prepped myself for competitions and photoshoots but I know that many of you won’t always get the support and understanding from people around you. Finding a balance to your social life with your dieting goals is what will allow you to sustain your results, get away from yo-yo dieting and stop you from becoming a social recluse.
TIP 1 – MANAGE YOUR MACROS
In my article how to approach flexible dieting I shared my advice on how you can use flexible dieting to your advantage and sustain your results whilst including variety into your diet. If you want to have the freedom and choice to eat out at a restaurant then understanding your daily macro requirements is a must. If you understand your carb, protein, fat and overall daily calorie goals then you can manipulate your meals to account for a meal out far easier. You NEED to be tracking your macros with My Fitness Pal if you’re not already doing this. There are tonnes of foods and even meals on this mobile app that you can input very easily to keep a food diary.
TIP 2 – PLAN AHEAD
Try to plan ahead to the day you’re going out to eat by having a look at the menu and deciding what would either be the ‘sensible choice’ or ‘macro friendly’ choice of foods. If you’re on a strict diet regime to lose fat by a certain date then opting for the sensible choice of main dish only and being conservative with your calories is your best option. If you just want to sustain your current level and not overly worried by a small fluctuation in your weight then get ‘macro friendly’ by looking through a menu and planning the calories that you’re going to allocate for that meal.
TIP 3 – CONSERVE YOUR CALORIES
On the meal out day, I would highly recommend that you conserve your calories earlier that day. Eat conservatively by lowering your carb and fat intake across the day; most meals out would usually involve a moderate/large consumption of carbs and fats, which would likely overshoot your daily macro targets if you ate like it was a normal day. I like to stick to lean protein sources like chicken, white fish, egg whites and whey protein with fibrous green veggies and greens powders to stay satisfied, cover my micros and full up until the meal out. Also, drink lots of water and fluids throughout the day to keep hunger away. Save between 1,000kcals – 1,500kcals (if your calories allow it) for the meal out. You’ll soon find yourself sat at the dinner table feeling smug that you can eat pretty freely and knowing you won’t overshoot your daily goals much if at all from eating conservatively earlier that day. Your friends and family will also feel at ease knowing you’re not just going to eat a plate full of leaves whilst they enjoy a 3-course meal. Not to mention the abuse you’ll be avoiding.
TIP 4 – MODERATION IS KEY
If you’re on a quest to get lean and lose body fat then above all, practice moderation. Don’t treat social events as a time that you can gorge and binge eat/ drink. Learn to moderate what you have and appreciate the flavours of whatever it is you’re allowing yourself for the evening. The same goes for alcohol too, I completely understand it’s a big part of people’s lives, which is why I allow for SOME flexibility for clients, even when fat loss is the goal. Having moderate amounts of foods or drinks that you fancy will help keep cravings away and ultimately stop binge behaviour. I’m all about creating sustainable habits, I’ve learned the hard way so hopefully these tips can help you enjoy life that little bit more without taking two steps back from achieving your goals.
Try these quick tips the next time you have a social event/ meal planned and let me know how you get on.
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LEE CONSTANTINOU – BODY TRANSFORMATION COACH