Let’s talk about how in the world we are expected to still eat healthy when we are
having a date night with our main squeeze. I am the first person to understand how tempting it is to indulge when eating out. I mean, how am I supposed to turn down a margarita with dinner when the picture looks so good!?! You spend 2 hours getting ready for your honey (coming from a female obviously, you men just enjoy your 10 minutes it takes you) because you’re finally going on a date after 4 weeks of a chaotic, non stop schedule, and the last thing you want to think about is resisting temptation and “being good” with your food choices. So the goal is to help make those decisions for you without you feeling like you are sacrificing and letting you focus on the important things in life.
Look at the menu ahead of time. This helps with so much. First of all, you are usually starving by the time you finally get to dinner (thanks to that 2 hours it takes to create perfection), which is the absolute worst time to make food decisions. Cravings are at an all time high and you will likely order more than you actually need. Planning out your selection before getting to the restaurant will give you plenty of time to check out all of the options instead of selecting the first thing that sounds good so you can get back to the convo with your other half. Knowing what you will be eating while getting ready will also allow you to look forward to what you have chosen instead of being disappointed the second you tell the waiter, “A salad with the dressing on the side, please” as a last resort.
Salad is NOT your only option! Yes, does the majority of a menu include something either deep fried, breaded, or full of sugar? Absolutely. But there are still plenty of dishes you can choose from outside of the salad list. Remember: WHOLE FOODS. So looking for the dishes with meat, vegetables, and a complex carb. My go to: 6 oz. sirloin, house salad, and a baked potato. Who doesn’t love a good steak that you didn’t have to cook yourself!?! Other great options are the salmon and chicken plates. But don’t completely count out the salads either. Some restaurants have some very creative AND filling salads that include a meat and even a complex carb such as quinoa on it. Vegetables are almost always an option to add to any dish as well (unless you’re at McDonald’s), so do not be afraid to ask for substitutions! You have to put your health ahead of annoying your waiter.
Don’t torture yourself. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT, let something unhealthy come with your meal to the table with the mindset “I just won’t eat it”. That is corporal punishment and will likely not work. Sitting there with a plate full of fries or a flaky dinner roll right in front of you that you “won’t eat” is not a good idea for anyone. If you don’t want to eat it, tell them not to bring it. Simple as that. One of the common things both myself and Bryan (boyfriend) like to do is order a burger but just ask for it on lettuce, no bun, and substitute the fries for a salad or vegetable. Restaurants can have some really good burgers, especially the ones loaded with guacamole and jalapenos so don’t deprive yourself of that greatness, just do it smart.
Decide between alcohol and dessert. Liquor, unlike beer or wine, does not contain carbs because of the distillation process. However, it’s the mixers that go with the liquor that get ya. They’re full of sugar and calories. So a few things here: First, plan your day out accordingly if you know you will be incorporating either alcohol or dessert into your date night. Things like avoiding fruit and other carbs are a great way to compensate. Second, when it comes to making your alcohol selection, try to stick with red wine or stout beer as they both have anti-inflammatory effects. With liquor, ask for mixers such as tonic or soda water and using lime to add flavor instead of loads of syrup. Try to limit yourself to no more than 2 drinks as well. When it comes to dessert, plan to share ONE. Find desserts that don’t have too many bad ingredients, so either something with just sugar, or just flour, rather than getting the fried donut with ice cream on top. Sorbets, fruit platters, or simply just not doing the ice cream with the fudge brownie are what you should look for. It’s all about give and take.
Share a meal. Restaurants are known for serving 2-3x a normal portion. How else can they charge $19.00 a plate?? So rather than letting your stomach judge when you are full or trying to gage when you are halfway through the plate, just share! Ask for that extra plate with pride. An added bonus here: cheaper bill! You’re welcome men ;)
Do salads for an appetizer. When you are starving, you just want food now. The first place we turn to on a menu then is the appetizer section which includes LOTS of cheese, deep fried breading, and calories. Starting with a salad is the trick here. It’s quick, full of nutrients, and starts your healthy decisions off right from the beginning. So skip the calamari and mozzarella sticks peeps.
Hopefully this was able to shed some light on how to prevent date night from blowing the gains you worked for all week long. I am all about compromise and accommodation. Health should never be a nuisance so finding ways to adapt it to your life will allow it to become a lifestyle that you don’t even have to think twice about. When living healthy is inconvenient or restrictive you are waaaayyyyy more likely to fall off the wagon. Don’t let that be you. You deserve better. You deserve health.
Like my approach? Want a healthy lifestyle that fits your life and schedule? This is my jam you guys so do not put it off another day. Call now to book a consult 623-551-6677. I want a HEALTHIER and HAPPIER you!
*AZ Chiropractic License Pending*
Dr. Brian Hester, originally from Alabama, graduated from Life University in 1999 with his Doctorate of Chiropractic. He moved to Anthem, Arizona in 2003 and opened his wellness center. Dr. Hester's mission is to provide people in the North Phoenix area, with the tools they need to identify stressors in their life and the underlying causes of their health challenges. With Dr. Hester as a health partner, patients can make positive lifestyle changes and take control of their lives...... see more
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