How To Eat Clean… Without Waving Goodbye To Your Social Life
It IS possible. Promise!
Birthday dinners, cocktail nights with the work crew, Sunday brunch catch-ups… With so many of our social interactions linked to food and drink, eating cleanly can be a tough road to choose.
So what to do? Ditch your diet completely and go all out with pizza and wine, or stay at home and cry illness? Thankfully, there are other solutions that don’t involve either of those extremes.
Read on for some realistic ways to merge your dieting goals with your social life…
1. Spend time choosing where to meet
The “will we grab a drink tomorrow evening?” text has ruined many a diet, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Rather than writing off your clean eating goals the second a bar is mentioned, consider other locations for your next hang-out. Suggest meeting in a juice bar, restaurant or café instead. It takes far less willpower to go for the healthy option when there’s more on the menu than gin, beer and wine.
2. Prep smart
If you’re heading to a friends’ house, the cinema or even to lunch, there’s nothing stopping you bringing your own packed snack or meal. If you feel strange whipping out your Tupperware of grilled chicken in your mate’s kitchen, bring something to share like a large salad or homemade chilli. Who doesn’t like a guest that brings food?
3. Consider IIFYM eating
While most “clean” diets tend to come with a lot of rules and restrictions, IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) is a more flexible form of meal planning. In short, you can eat whatever food you please as long you stay below your daily allowance of macronutrients (proteins, carbs and fats). Yes, it takes some calculating, but it means you can still head out for that birthday dinner without getting diet guilts.
4. Do your research
Virtually all restaurants, cafés and bars publish their menus online these days, so swot up before you go. At worst, you’ll have time to suggest a change of venue, and at best, you’ll know exactly what you’re ordering and will be less tempted to opt for a last-minute portion of buffalo wings.
5. Don’t panic
At the end of the day, it’s your happiness that comes first. If you’d be happier relaxing with friends over dinner tonight that staying home with turkey burgers and spinach, then just go for the former, and chalk it down as a re-feed.
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