Learn the 15 simple ways that you can incorporate your health goals into your happy hour, just without the unnecessary calories! And how to lose weight without losing your social life!
Guys, I’ll admit it…I too have fallen off my weight-loss wagon just as easy as the next person. Especially when the idea of brunch is brought up (mimosas and French toast anyone??)
Even if I am 100% dedicated to my health and fitness goals, it’s all too easy to find myself desperately trying to get out of the prior plans I agreed to, or inevitably trying to burn off the food I enjoyed from the weekend on Monday at 5 in the morning.
It’s unfortunate that we feel that we must deprive ourselves and lose out on social events and celebrations just to see the scale change. We think about the daunting last-minute plans that revolve around sugary, alcoholic drinks and/or greasy, fattening food that our friends can enjoy without a second thought.
But girl, you do NOT have to worry about those dinner plans as much as you may think you do!
Design the mindset for SUCCESS and use the power of SUBSTITUTION to make healthier options for yourself and for your goals.
What if I told you that you just need to establish these 15 tips into your life and you will still see the incredible results that you have been working so hard for?? I know it’s easier said than done, but trust me it will sooooo worth it!! And you do not have to say no to going out or making plans, it becomes a win-win!
This healthy, balanced mindset has worked tremendously for me in my journey of losing over 30 pounds and it WILL work for you too! Heck, I still use it today since it has now become a regular habit! Not to mention, it’s kind of a fun challenge (if you’re crazy enough to find it fun! lol)
How to Lose Weight WITHOUT Losing Your Social Life
1. Eat Before You Head Out
This. Is. Essential! And it is Rule #1 for gaining control over impulsive decisions.
If you are going out for drinks, this tip can also save you from developing a gosh-awful hangover the next day. With that, everyone knows that the more you drink or the drunker you get, the more likely you will end up eating whatever you want and whatever you can get your hands on.
If you eat before you go out, the chances of you choosing a smaller, lower-calorie meal are much greater. Annnnd if you make yourself a healthy snack/meal at home beforehand, you are more likely to continue that mindset when it comes to ordering your food or drink at the social gathering you’re attending.
The ideal pre-drinking or pre-going out snack/meal would be a balanced mix of protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates full of fiber –to ensure that you stay full and satisfied longer.
Fruit with peanut butter is a great option, low-sugar yogurt with berries, or personally, I tend to reach for a protein shake and an apple for easy, quick convenience on-the-go!
2. Opt For a Lower Calorie Drink
When in doubt always go with plain old water!
Boring, nonetheless, but water is your best friend when it comes to social events and sticking to your goals. However, in certain situations, it’s not all that easy to say “I’ll just have water…”
Opt for lower-calorie drinks, which include light beer, wine, and hard liquor if you use a calorie-free mixer. Sugary mixers like juice, or soda can ADD UP incredibly quick in terms of empty calories (my sincere apology to all of my fellow 21-year-old vodka cran lovers!)
Keep it basic, and mix up your drink with soda water (not tonic water, it still has calories) to still have that carbonation taste and appearance. Or spice it up with fruit like a slice of lime, lemon, orange! Refreshing flavors such as mint and cucumber are a great, healthy alternative too!
3. Look Up the Menu Ahead of Time and be Set On What You Will Order
This is my most used tip!!
Whenever I am going to a new restaurant or trying to stay 100% committed to my health goals, I will, without a doubt, look up the menu online! Most restaurants have their menus online as well as the nutrition information, easy to access with a click of a button!
My routine is to go on the website, scope out the best options that fit my food plan for the day and choose the best one according to my plan and taste bud preference. 😉 This way, you will not be overwhelmed or drawn into the unhealthy choices.
This method will give you the chance to review all of your choices ahead of time, by yourself, that way you have your meal thought and planned before any distraction from others derails your goals.
4. Along with tip #3, Order Your Food/Drink Before Anyone Else!
Go ahead girl, you have much bigger priorities!
If you are the first person to order, you are much less likely to spontaneously change your mind and go along with your friend who ordered the hamburger and fries. It’s hard to say no when everyone else is ordering more appetizing, decadent foods, but you have dreams and goals to pursue.
So, do not let that get in your way! Have your plan, order first, and be happy with the fact that you didn’t let a moment of unwary decision making stand in your way!
5. Never Be Afraid to Customize Your Meal at a Restaurant!
Don’t worry! You will not sound stuck up or high maintenance, so please don’t let that be the end-all to ordering a healthy meal.
For instance, you could order a grilled chicken entrée cooked in no butter or oil, with a side of steamed vegetables, low-cal soup, or a small house salad instead of french fries (if they have those options.) It’s still delicious, satisfying and won’t even come close to consuming most of your calories for the day.
Get creative and have some fun with it, the worst the waiter could say is no to your customizations. So if that happens to be the case, just go with the second healthiest option for your plan B!
6. Have a Small Pre-Packed Snack with You
Small, simple, and easy to access in case of hunger emergencies!
For instance, while everyone is chowing down a fattening, carb-filled appetizer, you can snack on something you pre-packed while you wait for your main entrée to be brought out. Keep it healthy and light like almonds, the 100-calorie pack of mixed nuts, etc. Whatever keeps you happy, the hunger at bay, and your hand out of the breadbasket!
It’s tough, but so are you!
Also note that this little pre-dinner, pre-lunch, etc. snack will help signal your brain to compress those intense hunger signals and give yourself better odds for ordering smartly and keeping that healthy, secure mindset.
7. Ditch the “add-ons” or “extra sides” you don’t need them!
Okay so this slightly goes along with tips #3 and #5, but I told you, they are very important and I use them every time I go out to eat! I promise you!
Keep in mind, you don’t need to deprive yourself and you should definitely treat yourself on the occasion! (hello good ole moderation!) However, if you are one to dine out on the regular and hit up that local restaurant every Friday night, pass on the side of fries, bread, or dessert!
You don’t need them, my friend! Think about all of the other delicious treats you could have in replace of those sides, that are not nearly as calorie-filled! Or, consider the situation if you were eating at home instead, those extra order of sides or add-ons would most likely not be included on your dinner table. #foodforthought
8. Moderation My Friend! Remember, You Can Have Anything but Not Everything
I know that it is much easier said than done, and the people who would say this as their go-to piece of advice would drive me crazy! So, that is why I am telling you that you can have anything you want! It may sound like I’m deterring you away from all of my other tips, but hear me out, girl.
Enjoying yourself while eating out is all about give and take. Establishing a healthy balance will allow you to indulge in what you love most of all, and keep it healthy and clean for the rest of your meal.
Especially if you’re not one for going out and this is a special occasion, by all means, have that dessert! But to keep you on the right track for your health and fitness goals, just skip the bread basket, add-ons, or only stick to one cocktail or alcoholic beverage.
Planning ahead is perfect too!
If you know that plans have been made to go out at the end of the week, choose what you will indulge in when you’re out and make healthy, mindful decisions up to that point of your little treat meal. It’s a way to satisfy your craving in a guilt-free way.
That one treat/cheat is not going to damage the scale and set you back 5 pounds! Sometimes we just need that dessert, and we can have it and yet still accomplish our goals! So have your dessert, and then be ready to drive harder and move forward towards your dreams!
9. Dress to Impress!
I’m sure you may have heard this one through the grapevine somewhere, it’s pretty simple, and it may just be all in your head but I promise it works!
Wearing more form-fitted clothes has been proven to make you more aware or conscious of what you are eating. For instance, if I wear a loose hoodie or some sweatpants I’m most likely not worrying if I’m bloated from eating certain foods or not, I can’t tell so nobody else will be able to.
That being said, if I wear a tighter outfit or something that is more form-fitting, I will make a conscious effort to keep my abs contracted, or my stomach tighter throughout the day. And that is what you want! The process of keeping your abs contracted is actually working that muscle! It’s awesome, it’s like working out your abs as you’re walking around the office during the day, or bar hopping at night…cheers to a balanced lifestyle lol!
You will also feel more confident in your fierce, stunning outfit and be more likely to choose healthier food options or drinks with no empty calories throughout the day or evening! (It’s also a good excuse to go shopping for new clothes!)
10. Maybe We Take an Altered Approach?! Talk Friends into Different Plans…
Why does every social gathering or event have to be based around food or drinks?
I find myself asking this question almost every time I am asked to do something or go somewhere, and normally, it is an invite or an idea to go get drinks or go out to dinner. Instead, there are so many other social activities you could as a group that doesn’t have to involve food or drinks.
Ideas such as group fitness classes, like yoga, cycling class, Zumba class, etc. Orangetheory is a great idea as they offer many classes with professional coaches to help guide you and motivate you through your workout. It’s a great way to meet people who share the same interest in health and fitness as you!!
Weather permitting, get outside and go golfing, hiking, biking, dog walking as a group! All are terrific ideas to keep you moving and active while also bonding over a fun activity!
11. Like #10, Bond Over Experiences and Entertainment Rather than Food or Alcohol
This is also a great way to explore your local community or visit hidden gems in and around your hometown!!
Visit a museum or a production at your local theater – something informative or educational that will get your mind away from food and spark thoughtful, engaging conversation between everyone. For an evening idea that is also family-friendly, try going to a drive-in theater (if you have one by you of course) and if needed, bring your own homemade, and healthy movie snacks!
It’s much easier than trying to sneak your own snacks into a standard movie theater, plus drive-ins are so much more fun!
12. But What If Everyone Else Wants to Bond Over Food…?
Try a healthy cooking class!
It adds a fun, interactive twist to your usual restaurant plans. The best part is you know what ingredients are in the food, so there is no stress into guessing what’s in your meal!
You also get to sit down and really enjoy, and appreciate your dish since you are the one who put in the work to create it! It is such a great way to actively learn a new, delicious recipe that you can make again at home, and share with your family and loved ones!
13. Always Get Your Workout in That Day!
This tip is probably a close 2nd to my #1 tip!
Whether you get your workout in by yourself or with a buddy, do something that you enjoy and will help you feel energized, joyful, and ready to take on the day with a much healthier, dedicated attitude!
Plan to have your workout completed in the morning
Just in case unplanned activities come up, or so you don’t have to worry or stress about fitting in your workout at the end of the day.
Working out in the morning also means you are more likely to choose healthier options during the day if you keep that devoted mindset and your goals in mind! Do not think that just because you worked out that you can pig out on anything and everything in sight –I wish it was that easy sister!
Instead, keep striving towards your success for the rest of the day and keep that mental toughness strong!
14. Cook Up Some Healthier “Drunchies” Ready for You at Home
Drunchies: (n.) drunk munchies.
This one is so fun to me lol!
I feel you, friend, sometimes there is nothing better than some deep dish, greasy pizza at 2 am or some late-night street-style tacos after you’ve had maybe one too many drinks.
To solve the problem ahead of time and to squash, that late-night greasy, fattening cravings before you even have them, have some healthier food options waiting for your indulgence when you come home! This is where you can get creative beforehand and whip up some crazy, healthy concoctions that will be ready for you as soon as you walk through the door and to keep those drunk cravings away!
If you need help finding healthy recipe ideas that are tasty and original, feel free to check out another post on healthy snack alternatives to your favorite junk foods! I promise you will want to make all of these for any occasion!
15. Friend to Friend, Treat Yourself!
Life Is Too Short to Be So Strict All of the Time!
I am definitely a HUGE culprit when it comes to overstressing about my diet when I go out to eat and can’t be in control! To be honest, I still do, but I too am trying to 100% overcome my fear of setting myself back just as much as you!
So as my last piece of advice, to you and myself, be generous to yourself.
If you don’t get your workout in, or if you don’t end up sticking to your diet 110%, remember that you are going to be okay! Never let the guilt of one bad decision or an unplanned event demotivate you and discourage you from continuing your goals! Forget about it! It’s over with, and now it’s time to focus and just resume back to your normal, healthy eating and routine.
Everyone, including myself, goes overboard once in a while and it’s not something stress over or to punish yourself for! It’s perfectly normal, just try not to consistently let it happen!
Treat yourself every once and awhile and then continue striving towards goals! Life is all about balance and adopting a plan that is simple and sustainable to you as an individual that will always keep you happy, healthy and joyful!
You deserve it!
I hope you find these tips helpful, and that you are easily able to implement them in your life! Keep on striving towards your goals and don’t give up!
Which tip did you like best?