When you cook your own meals, in your own house, with your own rules, eating healthy is relatively simple.
- Fill up half your plate with veggies, and the other half with protein.
- Eat to 80% fullness (Probably like 10 bites away from starting to feel a little uncomfortable)
- Chew your food and put your fork down between every bite.
However, life / health outside your fortress of solitude is messier. As social animals us humans unfortunately must go out into the world and interact with other people. Ugggggggggh.
Most of the time this “interacting with other people” means having less control over what you eat.
By the way, don’t wait for the “perfect time” to lose weight. Waiting around for things to calm down doesn’t make sense.
There will always be temptations, challenges, and obstacles.
Your friends aren’t going to stop inviting you to happy hour. Your relatives aren’t going to stop shoving cake down your face Hansel and Gretel style. And you simply can’t get out of taking business partners out to lunch.
To change your body, accept the challenges in front of you and come up with smart solutions. Or, you could just steal those solutions from my online clients.
Here are some ways my clients lose fat and build toned physiques when they aren’t in control of the food that is in front of you.
It's All About Portion Control
You can technically lose weight eating whatever you want, but there’s a tradeoff.
You don’t get to be as full, satisfied, and energetic if you eat lots of calorie dense foods like pizza, donuts, cheese, burritos, etc.
The junkier the food, the more portion control you need to use.
If you really want to lose weight, but can’t seem to avoid tempting situations the socially easiest way is to be less full and a little more hungry than you would prefer.
To lose weight eating pizza you’re going to need to leave the meal fairly hungry, depending on how many calories you’ve eaten throughout the day.
Different foods have different caloric densities. Your total caloric intake depends on the total of ALL of your meals not just any single meal. You won’t gain 5 lbs overdoing it on pizza once. And you won’t lose 5 lbs by eating salad once.
If you’re eating calorically light foods, then you can and should fill up to a greater degree.
But calories do count. And being a little hungry sometimes isn’t the end of the world, it’s just an unpleasant physical feeling like being tired or having to pee.
For fat loss, there's simply no way around it -- you need to cut calories in some manner. With calorie dense foods (like pizza and burritos), keeping your calories low means being hungry sometimes.
Like other physically unpleasant feelings, it’s not fun, but is just something that has to be dealt with sometimes.
Admittedly it takes some practice effectively portioning restaurant meals, but it is possible.
Here are some simple tricks my clients use to manage portion control.
Eat half now and half later
Commit to this before you eat and stick to it. Once you reach the half way point, set your fork on the table. As soon as it’s socially acceptable, if you care about such conventions, ask for a to-go box.
Ye Olde Napkin Houdini
When you’re done eating, put a napkin over your food. If you don’t see it you won’t be tempted to nibble on it.
Basically you won’t do what I do with burritos i.e. save the last bit thinking, “This will be so good for dinner!” and as I’m walking home, nibble here, nibble there. So by the time I’m home I’ve finished it. Portion control failed. WOOPS!
Plus, having a napkin over your food isn’t appetizing. Can you imagine going to a Michelin Star restaurant and your otherwise stunning meal has a used napkin on top?
Not too appetizing. Unless you’re into that sort of thing, in which case, maybe this strategy isn’t for you.
Look at the menu beforehand
Pick the healthiest option and commit to it like you commit to marathoning House of Cards the second it’s released.
Be assertive and order first.
The more people who order the fried chicken before you, the harder it is to stick to your healthy commitment.
Most people want to be healthier. By going first and ordering something healthy, you might set a trend that has everyone eating healthier.
If not, oh well. You stuck to your guns and did what was best for you. You’ll be proud of that.
When offered sweets by relatives, say, “I’ll just have a little bit”, or “That looks delicious! I’ll definitely have some later”. They just want to feel appreciated, helpful, and nurturing.
You always have a choice. You can always say “no”. More difficult doesn’t mean impossible.
Peer pressure is real. It doesn’t look like a bunch of shadowy figures telling you to smoke pot or else they’ll unfollow you on Snapchat. It looks like everyone ordering pizza when you’re trying to drop 10 lbs for your vacation in Thailand next month.
Even when you don’t have control over your surroundings, you always have control of YOU.
I’ve had clients who work in sales. Now, sales requires tons of wining and dining. Probably more wining than dining.
Amidst all of these sales lunches the scale went way down, they got leaner, and after a few months they became really excited to wear certain dresses that showed off their new body.
They used some combination of “going rogue” and the other tricks from this post. Especially in business meetings you definitely need to have social tact, so it wasn’t like they were busting out meals from tupperware at a fancy wine bar.
If you stay committed to your goal regardless of circumstances, you’ll succeed. You’ll feel sexy as hell by the time Thailand rolls around.
You have to prioritize your goals, because success won’t happen otherwise.
In conclusion, you always have control of your actions and you never have control over your environment. Even at home, you have no say in whether or not there’s an earthquake.
Security and control are an illusion. Embrace that idea and you’ll be more successful in your fat loss journey. Just sayin’.
While circumstances make your task harder, that doesn’t mean it isn’t your responsibility and yours alone to figure out how to make good decisions. You do have help along the way. You just have to ask for it. However, no one else can make decisions for you.
Control what you can control, and accept what you can’t. That’s how my clients lose fat, and that’s how you will too.