With restaurants opening back up, many people are looking to dine out again and socialize with their friends and loved ones.
However, it’s easy to let those extra calories from restaurants add up and mess up your fat loss goals. Getting lean and healthy is much easier when you’re at home cooking most of your own meals and avoiding takeout.
Believe it or not, you can still eat out without messing up your fitness progress, you just have to be strategic about it. Before Corona hit I was coaching some clients that work in the hospitality industry where they’re always surrounded by booze and tasty food.
This is what helped them and some of my other foodie clients stay on track while still losing fat:
1. Look up the menu ahead of time
The first thing you need to do is to look at the menu before you go. Pick the healthiest items that fit your diet best and stick with it. When in doubt, go with a dish that has lean protein and veggies in it.
If you want to take it a step further, log and track what you’ll be ordering so you’ll know how many calories for you to be budgeting to stay on track.
2. Eat less during the day
Once you’ve figured out what you’re gonna order, give yourself a bit of a calorie buffer during the day. With all of your other meals leading up to the restaurant, have one serving of lean protein and veggies (size of palm for both).
They’re going to be lower in calories, keeps you satiated and allows you to have a bit more wiggle room with the amount of food you’ll be eating later in the evening.
3. Get a workout in before
Along with eating less, getting a workout done gives you even more of a calorie buffer, and allows your body to make use of the food that you’ll be eating later. I recommend a lower body workout or a full-body one to burn the most amount of calories.
Here’s an example:
A1. Dumbbell Sumo Squat x10 reps
A2. Dumbbell Walking Lunges x12 reps each leg
A3. Dumbbell Single Leg Hip Thrust x15 reps each leg
A4. Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift x12 reps
A5. Bodyweight Sissy Squats x20
Perform A1-A5 back to back with no rest, repeat for 4-5 rounds.
4. Swap out your sides
If your dish comes with a big serving of starches, whether it’s in the form of rice, potatoes, or pasta, ask your server to swap it out with steamed veggies or a side salad instead. This will fill you up, and you’re going to get some of your veggie intake for the day.
Also, sauces and dressings can add up to at least 200-300 extra calories to your dish. For whatever items you choose to order, ask for any sauces or dressings that come along with it to be put on the side.
5. Pick only one indulgence
Many restaurants have numerous courses: bread with butter, chips and salsa, appetizers, entrées, and dessert. If you’re going to having something else besides your main entrée, pick only one indulgence for the night.
It could be the bread, a glass of wine, or dessert, but not all three. That way you can still have some variety while controlling your calorie intake.
Follow these tips and you’ll continue losing fat while still being able to enjoy a meal out.