I'll be the first to admit that eating out used to give me anxiety when I was working towards a fitness goal.
And I can't tell you how many special events I've skipped because of not wanting to "lose progress".
Whether it was losing weight or building muscle ... I just felt that I couldn't go out with friends or family to grab a bite to eat, unless it meant throwing my diet plan & goals completely out the window.
And I know with the holidays here, family in town, and everything else that this season brings with it ... ordering food & eating out is bound to happen.
But you don't have to skip out on grabbing a bite to eat or ordering in ... and there's multiple ways to manage these situations, while still having a great time & a great meal.
So, here's 6 tips for staying on track while eating out:
Tip #1 - Plan Ahead
Every menu these days is available online ... and this allows you to look at the options before you go. Depending on where you're going, you may even be able to see the calories & macros on specific meals. By looking at the menu beforehand, you can PLAN AHEAD.
Ideally, I suggest looking at the menu in the morning. That way you can plan your day around the meal you're going to order, maybe eat a little less during the day ... and "make room" for the food you'll be having later. This makes it very difficult for that one meal to cause any damage to your fitness progress.
Tip #2 - Order A High-Protein Meal
If you're working towards any fitness goal, you should know that a high-protein diet is key. So, an easy way to make sure you stay on track while eating out ... order a protein-dense meal option!
Even if it maybe a little "off-plan" like a chicken sandwich, burger, or fattier cut of steak ... it's still going to have a lot of protein. And when you keep your protein intake high ... your chances of staying on track with your goals will also be high.
Tip #3 - Stick With Water or Zero-Calorie Drinks
This is a big one. Regular sodas, alcohol, juice ... all are very high in calories, and they add up fast. And it's much easier to drink calories versus eat them. That's why this tip is so important. If you're wanting to minimize the damage while you're eating out ... stick with diet drinks or water.
And if you can swing it, just stick to water. Because when you're properly hydrated, your appetite will be more controlled ... and this means you'll be less likely to overeat.
Tip #4 - Skip The Appetizers & Desserts
I know for me ... this one's tough. I'm sucker for a good appetizer & dessert. And this doesn't mean you absolutely can't have any at all. But it's difficult to fit in appetizers, desserts ... and a full meal while not overdoing it. So, if you want to be as safe as possible ... try to skip or limit the appetizers & desserts as much as possible.
Tip #5 - Ask For Sauce & Dressings On The Side
This is something that's also hard for me ... I'm definitely a sauce & dressing person. But unfortunately ... sauce & dressing is typically packed with sugars, fats, and calories. And restaurants certainly don't give you a normal serving size when it comes to sauces.
You can still use some sauce & dressing ... just ask for it on the side! This way you can monitor & portion the amounts you use.
Tip #6 - Utilize Supplementation
These are some of my favorite, and most overlooked supplements. Things like Glucose Disposal Agents (or GDA), digestive enzymes, probiotics, & greens powders ... all can help you better break down the food you eat. When you break down the food you eat more efficiently, your body will have an easier time using that food for energy ... rather than storing it as body fat.
These types of supplements can also help with indigestion & bloating ... something we all struggle with after a bigger meal.
But above all else ... don't stress & enjoy your meal! The chances are, you don't eat out very often ... so one or two meals isn't going to make or break you.
Especially if you use these easy tips.
I know how hard it can be to navigate the holiday season, while still working towards your fitness goals ... but all of us at Supplement Superstores can help make it a lot easier for you.
Our N.A.S.M. Certified Nutrition Specialist are more than happy to put together a plan for you, and make sure know exactly what to do to stay on track. Just swing by and see us at any S2 location ... and we'll make sure you're set up for success.
*This post was written by Sage Schuman, who is N.A.S.M. Certified Personal Trainer and N.A.S.M. Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist.