Picture this. You’re sitting at a table with co-workers at a happy hour hot spot when the hostess hands you a menu. Immediately your pulse starts racing and various thoughts run through your mind. ‘What should I order?’ ‘I want to eat healthy but I don’t want to come across as boring or like I can’t have a good time. Plus, I don’t want to miss out and feel like an outcast because I order something different than everyone else.’
If you’ve ever had these thoughts consciously or subconsciously, you’re not alone. Being in a social situation with people you may not know well can be stressful and induce anxiety, especially when we’re leading a healthier lifestyle, or are in the process of losing weight. The good news is there’s a way to put an end to this self-talk.
By implementing a few strategies, it’s possible to relieve some of the stress when eating out or enjoying a happy hour. These are just a few of my favorites but there are plenty more to try to ensure you find the ones that work best for you.
- Do a little preparation – If you know where you’ll be going out to eat, look up the menu online in advance. It’s a great way to select some options of what you’re going to eat ahead of time so you can make the best choice when you aren’t starving and without peer pressure.
- Sharing is caring – If you enjoy splitting food and know some of your fellow happy hour goers do too, don’t be afraid to share some of the plates. The great part about happy hours is that the portions are typically smaller. Therefore, if you want something that isn’t necessarily healthy, split it with someone so you consume a smaller portion than you would if you ordered it on your own. You’ll still get a taste of one of your favorites without throwing your healthy eating completely out the window.
- Add the veggies – When looking at the menu, search for dips such as guacamole or hummus. If they are available as options don’t be afraid to ask the server for vegetables in place of, or as a supplement to, chips or bread. Eating veggies with the dips will help fill you up a little so there isn’t as much room for other foods.
- Don’t forget your water – To ensure you don’t only focus on your alcoholic beverage, be mindful of getting in some sips (or glasses) of water. This will help you stay hydrated and will probably slow down the consumption of the higher calorie, alcoholic drink.
It’s important to feel satisfied in any situation to avoid deprivation because once deprivation sets in it’s a lot easier to indulge in unhealthy foods. Going out should be fun and stress free so you can enjoy your evening and connect with others.
Hungry for more?
Let’s go to a happy hour together! Join me Thursday, August 25th at 6:00 PM on the rooftop of Zed451 in downtown Chicago as I guide attendees through the happy hour menu. You will walk away with tips on how to determine the ideal foods to order off the happy hour menu and the best drink choices. It will be a fun evening of socializing, making new friends and enjoying a happy hour without stress or deprivation.
To learn more and sign up visit www.summer.laurabfolkes.com. Space is limited so make sure you reserve your spot today!