If Monday morning always feels like the start of a diet| you’re not alone. When you have a low-key weekday routine in place| it’s easier to stick to a healthy plan. But once all the weekend fun rolls around| it’s hard to resist or say no. Take these helpful tips from Chef Cheryl Forberg RD| nutritionist to the contestants of The Biggest Loser and in-house nutritionist for Omni Hotels and Resorts| that will keep you on track ¡ª even in the face of fun.
Do your research: You might love the thrill of reading a menu for the first time once you’re seated| but Cheryl says that checking out your options ahead of time helps you determine whether a restaurant is right for your needs. There are enough temptations out there that you don’t have control over| so when you make a reservation with friends| you should “be confident that there are healthy choices available|” she says.
Be smart about booze: A glass of wine or a light cocktail is just fine| but once you get together in a big group of friends| things tend to get a little carried away. Once you have a little buzz going on| making unhealthy choices doesn’t seem all that bad. Before you order that second drink| though| Cheryl suggests that you take a step back and check in with yourself. With a clear head| consider that “the calories in just a few cocktails can add up to a whole meal.” This can help inform your choice to have another round or stop while you’re ahead.
Reach for water: Whether you’re on your way to a celebratory meal or happy hour| always have a big glass of water ahead of time. Cheryl put it simply| “You don’t want to quench your thirst with your first martini.” But beyond the alcohol factor| Cheryl says that gulping water throughout the meal helps you slow down. When you’re out for margaritas| it will help keep you from “mindlessly snacking on a basket of chips that’s constantly being refilled.”
Speak up: An indulgent meal every now and again is fine (even suggested!)| but don’t be afraid to speak up and suggest a healthy spot to your friends. If one person suggests burgers and fries but everyone is trying to be healthy| then the rest of the group will probably thank you for chiming in. As Cheryl says| “everybody knows that that is the way we should be eating most of the time.”
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