You Should Plan Your Meals Before You Dine-Out This Summer

Hi, Lovelies!

I used to be one of those people who thought dieters were being extra by planning out their meals for the week or even month. I especially thought they were doing too damn much by keeping a food journal. Well, karma is something, because now I am one of those people who is doing too damn much. Honestly, it is not too much for me. I think if you are on a new diet or are planning on starting one for summer then developing a game plan, of sorts, may help your diet journey smoother.

My Low-Carb Life

I have never been a calorie counter and I don't plan on being one. However, I will still look at the calories on packaged foods or on restaurant menus -- if available -- to gauge if the food is worth the number of calories, fat, carbs, sodium, and cholesterol I would consume. I especially pay attention to the carbs, even on cheat days, to make sure I am not going overboard.

I also plan out the max high carb foods I will allow myself to eat each day. I am a granola bar addict, so I use those as my snack and as my high carbs for the day. I give myself a max of two a day. When I get food from restaurants, I plan out which foods I can eat from my favorite places during the work week and which ones I can eat on the weekends. This helps me enjoy food from places I love without feeling guilty or going off track.

Keeping a Food Journal

I keep a food journal on my laptop. It is not a journal per se but more of an Excel spreadsheet. I have it in calendar format and a different sheet for each month. I make note of what plan on or end up eating for each meal of the day. I highlight which foods were high in carbs and I highlight the weekends to let me know that I am free to have any carb I want - in moderation of course.

The journal helps me keep track of what I am eating as well as, letting me know if I need to cut back more should I go over my set quota of high carb foods on any given day. I also double check what eat I against my therapy goals. For example, if I notice that I was feeling sluggish during a physical therapy session, I will look back at what I ate to see if it contributed to that feeling.

Also, a food journal helps you plan for special events, dates, hanging out with friends, etc. I look up menus of different places and download the nutritional information of foods I feel are okay for me to eat. Then I can make note that I want to indulge in shrimp and linguini and a cocktail on Saturday. I also make note to eat half of the meal if the caloric information is too high for fat, sodium, carbs, etc. I will eat the rest for lunch the following day.

Summer Dining Out

I don't know of many people who choose to remain stuck in the house during summer. This means you will be doing a lot of eating out. You can make your food to bring along for beach outings, picnics, days at the park, or whatever outdoor activity you have planned. However, for things like dates, nights out with the friends, and other group activities at night, you more than likely will be eating at a restaurant.

Start looking up and downloading the nutritional information for the food prepared at your favorite places to dine out. Not all restaurants have this information available. However, you can probably find similar dishes at other places that do list this information. So, decide which foods will be diet-friendly and which ones are not. Save the not-safe-for-diet foods for your cheat days. The other foods make them your one big meal for the day and plan to eat light earlier that day or be real strict the next day to try to even things out a bit. Try not to eat everything in that one meal. Ask for takeout containers and eat the remainder for lunch or dinner the following day.

Planning out your meals during the summer can save you from going off track with your diet. You can still enjoy your favorite foods with your friends or date without looking like you are trying to throw your diet in people's faces as well. Hey, everyone understands wanting to save a portion of the meal for later or saving room for that huge cocktail you love.

Do you lovelies plan your meals while dieting? If so, what are some of your sure-fire tips to stay on track while dining out during the summer?

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