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  • Jennifer Bradford

How to enjoy eating out while trying to lose weight

Updated: Feb 27

So first thing's first...

If you are in a deficit, you want to limit how often you eat out as much as you can. A lot of restaurant food is high calorie, so it makes the deficit really hard to adhere to. BUT if your birthday, anniversary, or another special social occasion happens to fall during your deficit, it is doable and won't undo all of your hard-earned weight loss progress. If it's just a random Tuesday and there's nothing special going on, try to plan and stick to your deficit as closely as possible, though.

Let's imagine that on Saturday, it's your sister's birthday and she wants everyone to meet up for tacos and margaritas.


I ain't missing that. 

So, what would I do so I can fully enjoy the food and fun? 

My mind would be thinking along these lines:

The week prior, I'd stick as closely as I could to my current macros. I'd not indulge in anything unnecessary. I'd get all my steps in and complete all my planned work-outs. 

When Saturday rolls around, it would look like this:

I'd focus on protein and have a very protein-heavy breakfast and lunch. So, I might have a low calorie protein shake for breakfast (Fairlife) and a grilled chicken salad for lunch. I'd use low calorie dressing and load it up with vegetables. This way, I'm getting in a bunch of my protein and with the higher amount of veg, it will be more filling due to volume and fiber, so I'm not starving by dinner time. By doing this, I am saving a majority of my carbs and fats for the social event. Most restaurant food is higher in both of these macros. 

Before going out, I'd scope out the restaurant's menu and decide what I'm getting ahead of time. I'd get something, again, higher in protein so I can meet my protein target for the day and then go from there. I'll go with a chicken fajita. It comes with refried or black beans, rice, and guac. They also bring you cheese and sour cream on the side. What I'd do here is get the black beans (higher in protein) and probably not touch much of the rice or the cheese. The guac will get me some healthy fats. I might have just one tortilla. I'm saving some of the carb for one margarita and I'd rather have that than tortilla or rice.

As far as dessert goes, I'm getting it! I might share it with someone or get a smaller portion or take part home. Either way, if you end up going over your calories by a bit this one night, guess'll be just fine. So, by planning out your evening ahead, you'll be able to fully enjoy the event that is your sister's birthday.

Also, don't be surprised that when you get on the scale the next morning, your weight is higher. By a few pounds. You are holding on to more water from the extra carbs and salt...that will work itself out over the next few days. Just get right back into your deficit plan and keep progressing towards your goal!

...and that is what I'd do.

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