Counting calories week 2. How to survive boozy weekends

One of the hardest parts when it comes to sticking to your diet, is being able to account for social occasions. As we all know, these events invariably involve 2 things - booze and food! And there are not many other things, that when put together, can easily put us over our daily calorie requirements.

 

Week 2 threw up this conundrum for me, I had a mate’s stag do; that I knew involved a BBQ (with drinking), then a curry (more eating and drinking) and then off out afterwards. Quite potentially catastrophic for my diet and progress over the week, and something I was very keen to limit the damage of. 

 

So whats to be done if you have a function/event/big dinner coming up in your diary, and one that you know can easily run away with you, and ruin all your hard work during the week??

Here are a few tips to help limit the damage:

 

  1. Adjust your calories during the week, stay under your daily allowance Monday-friday, even staying 150 cals under every day will give you an extra 750 calories to play with on Saturday night. 
  2. Reduce your calories the day of the event. If its an evening event and you want to enjoy it as much as possible without having to worry too much, eat less on that day. Have a smaller breakfast, or even none at all (if you’re not hungry). Then a light lunch, that is nutrient dense but calorie light - for example a large salad with some protein and vegetables. This should keep you full and save your calories for later in the day.
  3. Make smart choices while out! If its dinner, avoid the bread and butter at the start. You’re about to eat 3 fairly high calories courses (probably!), so don’t waste your allowance on bread, which you really don’t need. Similarly choose your courses wisely, look at the menu beforehand or when you’re there and make a few concessions. For example smaller and lighter first course, then a main meal with a desert would be better than going for Frois Grais, a large Pasta based main and then a big chocolatey desert. 
  4. Alcohol will be consumed, so be prepared for this and try to stick to a lower calorie choice. Diet/sugar free mixers when having spirits is a no brainer. A double slimline G&T is 120 cals. If you’re drinking wine or beer, limit your consumption, and these can really tot up your calories and quickly!
  5. Don’t eat badly the next day. Just because you’re hungover doesn’t mean its carte blanche to go and have a huge greasy breakfast, then a pizza and ice cream later in the day. Do back to your calories and if anything try to stay under them, as chances are you probably still over consumed the day before despite being careful.

 

And lastly, (this one isn’t a tip or trick), try to have a little control and discipline. 

 

All these little tricks were in the back of my mind all of Saturday, I avoided snacking. I didn’t stuff my face at the bbq or the curry, and although I had a few beers, I definitely didn’t hold back on the G&T’s. Throughout the week I’d under eaten by 150-200 cals, plus on Saturday morning I had a medium sized breakfast, overall this left me with a good amount of wiggle room for the day. Understandably I have a larger intake than most, and therefore adjusting doesn’t have such a dramatic and challenging effect on my week and day, but I’m mindful that whatever I do during the week can be so easily undone at the weekend.