In a country known for its sumptuous hawker fare and world class restaurants, dining out and eating healthy in Singapore may seem like a complete paradox. For those of us cutting weight or trying to eat clean, we either avoid eating out altogether or bring our own meals just to avoid temptation.
But just because you are trying to lose weight or eat healthier, it doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy dining out from time to time. Although dining out should be kept to a minimum, you don’t have to completely eliminate it from your lifestyle.
Do you want to go out, enjoy yourself, and still maintain that sexy body you got from strength and conditioning class? Here’s how:
1) TELL YOUR FRIENDS
Be upfront with your friends and tell them that you are trying to lose weight. Whether you’re cutting weight for your next fight or just trying to diet, explain to your friends why it is important to you. If they are true friends, they will give you their full support..
2) GO GREEN
When you get the restaurant menu, always look at the salad section first. Filling yourself up with greens will prevent you from indulging in more unhealthy choices. Hopefully, your appetite will be reduced to a bite sized amount of these foods when you see them on the table.
3) SAVOR YOUR FOOD
As children, we were scolded by our parents for eating too fast. Not only were our parents right (as always), but studies show that the faster you eat the more you will end up eating. According to the North American Association for the Study of Obesity, overweight men and women took in fewer calories when they slowed their normal eating pace. Eat slowly and enjoy your food.
4) PORTION CONTROL
When you are used to prepping your meals at home, you might find that it is more difficult to measure the amount of food you eat when you’re out. Instead of ordering an entire meal for yourself, share it with a friend or opt for a half portion. You can even order an appetizer as your main meal. Stay away from “value meals” or “combos” unless you are sharing it with someone else.
5) ANALYZE YOUR FOOD
When you order your food, remember that in order to maintain a healthy weight you must balance the amount of calories you eat with the calories you burn. If you chose to take a rest day, eat less calories than you would on a regular training day. To keep track of your calorie intake, you can use one of the many applications available for smartphones. Some applications can even analyze the amount of calories a meal has. This makes calorie counting even easier and gives you less of an excuse to indulge.
6) DRINK A LOT OF WATER!
Drinking a lot of water helps you avoid eating more than you should. Sometimes, we mistake thirst for hunger, so we end up eating instead of drinking. Having a glass of water before a meal ensures that you aren’t just eating for the sake of it. If you’re still hungry 20-30 minutes later, that means you are indeed hungry. After your meal, have a glass of warm water. It will help with digesting your food.
7) TALK IT UP
If you’re at a party, walk around and socialize. It will help prevent you from snacking and eating useless calories. If you’re at a restaurant, talk to your friends. I’m sure they’ll want to hear about all the training you’ve been doing. You can also tell them about your diet and how you want to be healthier. Who knows, you might start a trend!
Maintaining a healthy diet is all about balance. If you ate a heavy lunch, have a light dinner. If you ate bacon and fried eggs for breakfast, have something healthier later on. Being on a diet doesn’t have to be a drastic change in your eating habits. By balancing out your unhealthy habits with wholesome, healthy ones, it will be easier to incorporate it into your lifestyle, turning it into something longer lasting.
See, there’s no reason why dieting and eating out shouldn’t go together. Go on and have fun with your friends–the harder you are on yourself, the more reasons you’ll find to stray from your diet!