Valentines is upon us folks, this is no a drill. If you have forgotton to buy a card, go out now... I'll wait for you. *whistles*
Right, back to the post now.
Lots of your are probably planning meals out with loved ones. If you are not planning anything for Valentines, this post is just a relevant for birthdays, anniversary, Friday nights etc... Basically any special occasion where you are eating out and have zero control over the food.
You can handle this one of two ways, either say f**k it! is a special occasion and accept how that may be reflected on the scales, or try you best to eat well and use the tools available to you to make the best choices. I am personally a fan of both options and tend to settle for a mixture of the two. In January I went for a romantic meal out with the boyfriend, I had three courses, enjoyed every minute of it and still managed a loss on the scales that week.
Here are my 5 top tips for handling eating out without being a diet-bore.
1. Research the restaurant beforehand.
Most places have menus online nowadays or if it is a chain restaurant a lot of places are in the Weight Watchers database. I would highly recommend sending time checking out your options. I found being prepared made me feel a lot more in control as I had an idea of the points in each option and made an informed decision.
You didn't need to sit worrying or checking the online app when you should be conversing or making googly eyes at your loved one.
2. Don't arrive hungry
It is tempting to not eat much through the day to save your points for the meal out, in my experience this is not the best plan. Arriving at the restaurant ravenously hungry usually leads to me devouring the bread basket, wolfing down my food, and not actually enjoying what I am eating! I find that some zero point soup or fresh fruit in the afternoon is a good way to fill up before going out. I am not saying fill up completely but simply don't starve yourself all day.
3. Restaurant Hacks
My local Italian restaurant offers any pizza or pasta dish in a half portion, served with salad or chips. So you could still have our favourite pizza or guilty pleasure pasta for half the points! A little bit of what you love, with plenty of fresh salad on the side. So absolutely no need to sit and pick at what you think is the healthy option! I know other places offer starters as mains, or will be more than happy to double the veggies with your steak and omit the potato! Just be a bit cheeky, shy bairns get nowt!
4. Get moving
It is surprisingly easy to use your full 49pp weekly allowance on a night out, if you are having wine it is even easier! If I know I am having a heavy night out in a week I make a concerted effort to earn those activity points! Taking the stairs at work, walking to the next bus stop, hitting the gym, squeezing in an extra zumba class... Every little helps! Earn that extra glass of wine or sneaky pud.
5. Sharing is caring
Pudding, my weakness. I always seem to manage to choose the worst possible dessert, double chocolate, whipped cream, caramel, pastry... Yum! I know I could always opt for a coffee or go without but where is the fun in that, it is a special occasion after all. One option during a romantic meal for two is to share! That way you get a few bites of what you fancy! Plus if your dining partner is anything like mine, he will eat most of it.
So those are my top tips to handling special occasions and still having a good time. At the end of the day if you want to go wild and enjoy a nice meal at your favourite restaurant, go for it. Weight watchers is a lifestyle change not a quick fix. If you deprive yourself you are much more likely to not stick to the plan in the long term.
Feel free to share any of your tips below, and have a happy valentines day!