I am here to tell you that it is possible to enjoy dining out and lose fat. No I am not one of those people that can eat anything, whenever I like and stay slim and clothes horse ready! I have to work at it, like 99.9% of the population. But I do eat out 1-3 times per week. Recently I have been doing a successful fat loss phase that has included some serious dining out. In this article I will explain how.
What do I mean by dining out?
When I say dining out, I mean out out. I don’t mean grabbing lunch during your work day. I mean I know how to go out with friends after work and eat a proper meal with drinks and still lose fat. I mean going somewhere that only sells burgers and chips and STILL making it work! Don’t believe me? Read on.
What I eat during the day before dining out
I have written before about how I manage my macro’s during the day when I know I am eating out that evening. Take a look at part five of my macro series.
Let’s keep things simple. I have two strategies:
- I do fasting for part of the day
- I keep my fats low
When calories are low I find that fasting can really help to keep me within my macros and enjoy life. Take a read of how I did this on my recent holiday, to very good effect.
So I will have a coffee in the morning and make sure I stay well hydrated until around 1300, when I will break my fast. IMPORTANT: I do NOT starve all day. I eat meals that support my workout, if I am exercising that day, and that keep me ticking over. I always meet my macros for that day.
As I have said many times before, it helps to keep fat low before eating out, even if the dishes you choose are considered ‘healthy’. Restaurant kitchens will ALWAYS cook with more butter and or oil than you would at home.
What dining out choices do I choose to lose fat?
This depends. If I am eating out at a special place then I will enjoy anything and everything. For instance, recently I ate at The Ivy, The Manoir (two days in a row), then had dinner at Heston Blumenthal’s Dinner and a few days later had dinner at Sketch. I had a minimum of a three course meal, all the way to an 8 course taster menu with wine pairing.
However, this was NOT the norm. It was to celebrate my wedding and birthday and I was not about to let a little thing like calories get in the way. Saying that I had only put on 500g when I weighed myself that Monday morning, which was promptly lost by the next day.
Because on a day to day basis I eat well. I look after my body and it then looks after me.
So what about eating out at your average Italian or burger joint? Well in this case I would probably look at the menu in the morning of the dinner and choose what I wanted. I would then make my macros fit around this.
How do I make my fat loss macros work when dining out?
I make a few decisions before I eat out. Do I want bread and butter, do I want a starter, do I want a dessert, do I want to drink? I usually base this on how things have been going with my fat loss phase and also how good the menu is.
As expected, the more you want to eat at dinner the less you eat during the day. But how do you calculate this?
I simply guesstimate the macros for my dinner in My Fitness Pal. If I have spaghetti and bolognese I would estimate how much pasta this was, how much mince was used, tomatoes etc and then add in a good chunk of butter to make up for the fact that it will have hidden fats.
So, it is possible to enjoy dining out and lose fat
It simply takes a little bit of planning!
Want to know how you enjoy alcohol and still stay on track with your health goals? Read my article .