I was out for a meal this week with a large group of people who work in sport, prior to the meal I overheard a lady talking about how she has exercising really hard several times a week on the treadmill and swimming but was not losing any weight. The person she was talking to advised to switch to interval training. Totally agree with that as you all know, but no-one mentioned her nutrition. We later had the meal & it was clear that the food choices of the lady above were not really helping her to lose weight. She obviously is under the illusion that you can out train a bad diet & is getting frustrated that the training does not seem to be working.

So educate yourself NOW – you can not out train a bad diet. Fat loss, health & well-being all require good nutrition, exercise and rest. For fat loss nutrition accounts for 70% of the result. Get that right and any exercise undertaken will help you reach your goal quicker.

Lets look at what I mean.

Prior to the starters arriving the wine was flowing & huge plates of really chunky rustic bread were brought out with a flavoured olive oil dip. Most people including our friend above tucked into at least 2 pieces of bread dipped in olive oil. (Each piece was equivalent to about 3 slices of bread in quantity). The starters arrived and our friend had pate with toasted brioche, marmalade & salad. Her main course was stuffed chicken in a white wine sauce with a side order of chips. Then there was apple crumble with custard for desert, followed buy coffee & a chocolate, then back to the bar for some more wine. I am sure she enjoyed herself but this was not going to help her achieve any weight loss.

Wow there was a lot of carbs consumed. We are talking around 5 servings of starchy carbohydrates, a substantial amount of fat very little fibrous carbohydrates and 2 servings of protein all in one meal. I know that it was a special meal but there was a serious amount of excess carbohydrates in those options which will get stored as fat.

If our goal is fat loss and we are eating out there are choices that we can make that won’t spoil your evening or your waist line.

* Plan ahead – don’t avoid going out – if you are trying to lose weight it can be difficult when you eat out but there are ways that you can help yourself if you plan ahead.

* Make it your cheat meal for the week if it is a planned meal out. So eat healthily all week & use this meal as the one where you can eat what you like.

If it is not planned and you have had a cheat meal then:

* Choose the restaurant carefully – Italian restaurants usually have a healthy option in their menu.

* Check out the menu before you go – most restaurants have their menus on their websites.

* Remind yourself before you go what your end goal is & that every decision you make can either take you closer to this goal or further away from it. You CHOOSE what YOU eat.

* Drink a big glass of water before you leave the house. It will make you feel fuller.

* Avoid the bread at all costs – eat bread & you will not lose weight.

* Avoid alcohol if you can – it is liquid sugar with no nutritional value so opt to be the driver.

* If you have a starter choose a salad without a high calorie dressing. Choose oil & balsamic vinegar or lemon juice.

* If there is not a suitable starter check out the side orders for salad or vegetables.

* Choose meat & vegetable dishes for your main course – avoid pasta, pizza & chips. Choose vegetable or salad options for your side orders

* Avoid dessert – This is simply a bad habit. Choose to finish your meal with a black coffee instead.

* Be prepared for friends that want to make you fat and try tempting you – you know the ones that say

“go on live a little” or “just have one, it won’t hurt”. Plan your response before they say it to you & you are more likely to stick to what is best for you.

Please let me know if you have any thoughts or further tips on this topic.I would love to hear your views & experiences.

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