How to have a ‘healthy’ night out; and still enjoy it…
As we all know there are times when you just can’t avoid a night out – and don’t want to either!
Unfortunately what often happens is people either spend the night as ‘the boring one’ guilt tripping their way through the evening – adding up every excess calorie.
They throw caution to the wind and go (for want of a better expression) bat sh*t crazy.
Like the dad who’s been invited to his sons stag do or the child finally let out for summer holidays. Eating and drinking everything within reach and making a serious dent in their quest to have the body they want.
“There is a middle ground I promise”
Firstly I want to hand out a few free passes;
Christmas Day (Christmas eve and Boxing day)
Family party’s etc
Don’t turn up to any of these as a stick in the mud. Employ some of the tips I’m about to share, but generally just relax and enjoy. It’s often these very occasions that we are striving to look our best for in the first place.
Where to eat…
Eating out is a minefield but 9/10 there are healthy options…
The first thing you need to do is keep our client success principals in your head. Namely ; eat plants and animals.
If ordering starters; a salad or anti pasti is always a safe option. Other good options are fish or soup dishes (soup does a great job of filling you up making it hard to over eat in later courses) At this point the most important thing is to avoid the free bread. I know it tastes like heaven in a basket. BUT this along with alcohol on an empty stomach will lead to some serious sugar cravings just in time for you to order your main course. Your ability to choose intelligently will be seriously overused by your animal instincts to balance your blood sugar levels. If you feel you want to join in then opt for some mixed olives. Avoid the bread.
Main course: I recommend everyone avoid heavy pasta and rice dishes. Not only are they super carb heavy and destined to spike your blood sugar, they also lead to energy slumps that leave you rudely yawning in front of friends. People often say that Italians are the hardest to make healthy. Any Italian worth is weight in garlic will have a steak option. I know it’s more expensive but you have a chance to lower costs later in the meal.
Fish dishes here are often a good choice and light in the calories table also.
I can’t tell you enough how much you need to avoid The White Devils during this main meal . Alcohol with white Devils is like eating a big bag of Haribo – avoid at all costs .
Don’t be afraid to ask to substitute elements of the meal that don’t stick with the principles. Waiters are used to it these days. Ask for extra veg or salad instead of chips or rice. You will be surprised how cool about it they are. If you feel embarrassed one of my favourite tricks is to tell them something like “yeah if we could swap the chips that would be great, I’ve got a sensitivity to a lot of the oils they are cooked in” – that always does the trick.
Remember you don’t have to finish the meal; if you are full stop eating.
This is a bit of a non-starter for you – sorry. If you genuinely want to go out for a night out without jeopardising your progress; don’t have desert. Tell anyone who asks that you have hired a trainer and your getting measured next week, tell them that you avoid eating desert on nights out so that you can go on holiday and eat tons of the stuff! Whatever it takes do not eat desert. It will encourage an insulin release that will pump your fat cells full of all the foods you have eaten so far that meal – it literally opens the flood gates. If you have a sweet craving you just need to scratch ; order an Americano: it will be served with a small biscotti to help ‘scratch the itch.’
The bar/ club/ wine collection
When it comes to alcohol its fair to say it’s bad for you. I think we all know that don’t we? Newspapers have been trying to convince everyone that red wine is good for us yet I can’t find a single nutrient in red wine that you can’t get from red grapes . And if you want anti oxidants; 80% dark chocolate is always a better option. However – most of us like a drink from time to time don’t we? So…
Spirits on the rocks – easy. Not only do you avoid the cacophony of calories and chemicals that come with a mixer – you can show everyone how cool and sophisticated you are. Double win.
Spirits with diet mixer – look; diet cokes, slim tonics etc are bad. Aspartame has been linked to brain cancer and paralysis. However a small amount on a night out, rather than drinking it every day, isn’t going to make much of a difference. Just drink plenty of water the next day to flush it out and don’t drink them very often.
Spirits with orange juice – this is a fake healthy option. The fructose in the Orange will pump your body with sugar. For the extra dose of vitamin c it’s really not worth it.
Light larger – my personal favourite. Goes great with a BBQ etc and rarely sets you back over 100 calories. Just don’t drink it too often its got some pretty nasty chemicals in it.
Red wine – packed with anti oxidants – and calories, so go steady with this one…
White wine – big no no. I know it goes great with certain meals and occasions but if we want to stay on track this really isn’t the tipple of choice. High in calories – low in vitamins.
The day after the night before:
“The best solution to pollution is dilution” Paul Chek
Drink gallons of water, flush out all of that nasty stuff. You will also have taken on board far more calories from carbohydrates than protein or fat, so make sure your meals today start to readdress that balance. Alcohol is also very acidic so take on plenty of green veg like kale and spinach to temper the flames in your gut. Lastly; alcohol has a pretty bad effect on our sleep. Although you will fall asleep quicker, you do not fall as deeply, your likely very tired today. It doesn’t matter how good Sunday night TV is – get yourself to bed early and wake up on Monday ready to go.
Most importantly enjoy your night out – you deserve it.
Yours in health
Ben Winter PT
0117 287 2191