Last week I wrote a fitness blog about how to stay on track after a reaching your health and wellness goals. Now I want to address another huge challenge – maintaining weight loss goals while enjoying social events!
When we reach our weight loss goals, we are so excited to go out with friends and family to show off our new-found curves and confidence… But it’s essential to prepare yourself! You need to be ready to overcome the challenge of socialising while staying true to your goals.
Top 5 weight loss challenges – and how to rise above them
Challenge 1 – Alcohol
Step away from the cocktails! Yes even the espresso martini – did you know there is an average of 18 grams of sugar in one cocktail? That’s equivalent to eating 4 ½ teaspoons of sugar!!!
Stick to wine, wine and soda, or Vodka/gin and Soda with a slice of lime – oh and don’t think Tonic water is water NOOOOOOO it is sugar laden! Almost 8 tsp of sugar in a Gin and Tonic. Diet mixers or sugar free mixers are fine for a night out but I don’t like to consume regularly.
Challenge 2 – the party platter
Often work or social events mean that we are faced with platters of cocktail food – deep fried, cheese covered morsels, with loads of pastry… A healthy body’s worst nightmare!
Try to eat a huge salad before you go out – this way your tummy will be full of fibre and healthy nutrition and your won’t get hungry. You can snack on some cocktail food, and you will have the restraint to choose wisely. This means staying away from the fried snacks, and choosing fresh prawns, kabobs, or bite sized bits of salmon or steaks.
Challenge 3 – Travelling for work or holidays
If you are on a business trip, fueling your body with whole, unprocessed natural foods may seem impossible. This is why it is essential to plan ahead and pack healthy snacks like fruit, nitrate free jerky, and trail mix.
When flying, you can take food with you as long as you leave it on board when leaving international flights. Depending on how long the flight is you might pack some fruit, seeds or a packet of air popped popcorn, or if you are flying though a meal time, pack a salad and some boiled eggs or a frittata. Don’t over-cater though, as boredom might mean you eat more than usual.
If you can, book accommodation with a kitchenette so you can prepare your own meals, and avoid grabbing a fast food option for dinner on the go. If you do eat out, remember to navigate the menu with wellness in mind.
- Look for grilled, baked and steamed, rather than fried
- Skip the chips, cheese, cream sauces and bread
- Skip entrees – you don’t have one at home, and won’t miss it
- Ask for extra vegetables or salad
- Ask for all sauces and dressing “on the side” so you can control the taste, but not have your food swimming in fat-heavy dressings
- Let your main settle while you enjoy a cup of tea and some stimulating conversation, and you will find you don’t feel the need for a dessert.
Challenge 4 – The friend factor
Social activities usually revolve around food and this can be daunting when trying to lose weight. You also may feel pressure to indulge simply because everyone else is, or have friends who try to be supportive by encouraging you to eat and saying you look great already – bless them!
Another potential problem is that we tend to focus on conversation and not notice our eating – be aware, be mindful, and acknowledge what you are putting in your mouth. Slow down!
If you are meeting at a restaurant or café, check the menu online before you go so you can be prepared and know what you are going to order, without it becoming an issue.
What about when you are going to someone’s house? You don’t get to choose, and this can be one of the most difficult challenges we face as we try to change our lifestyle. It helps if you can offer to contribute to the menu, and help the host, while bringing food you feel good eating. Some ideas are:
- Nibbles – healthy dips with cut up vegetables
- Main – a huge vegetable-laden salad
- Dessert – fruit platter with a yoghurt dip and some dark chocolate
If you cannot contribute, eat a salad before you go to prevent the temptation of picking at the dips and crackers, eating the bread basket, or having a double serve of the potato bake!
Challenge 5 – You deserve a treat, right?
You are doing so well with your healthy eating and you must celebrate the wins! Shout it from the rooftop – but treat yourself with an experience, or a piece of clothing – not with cake!
If you must treat yourself with food or a meal out, then enjoy, relax and savour the experience. Make sure it is one treat, not a ‘weekend of treats’ – and get back to your healthy nutrition straight away. Have your workouts scheduled for the next day, be mindful of portion sizes, and go for quality and deliciousness rather than quantity and a cheap fix.
- If pizza is your thing – go out to a traditional pizza restaurant! Don’t go for a fast food take away option – enjoy the whole experience of sitting in the restaurant, choosing the pizza toppings and savouring the freshness.
- If ice cream is your weakness – have your meal at home full of vegetable and lean protein then drive out to an Ice Creamery – choose your flavour and topping and enjoy the whole journey – don’t grab a litre tub from the supermarket!
I want to assure you – you can have an enjoyable and socially abundant life living your new and improved healthy lifestyle. Use your new tribe at F45 to support you and rely on their friendship and experience to help you through your transition – and don’t hesitate to contact me if you would like more information or support.