While dieting at any time requires planning and willpower, dating while on a diet can pose some extra challenges. Many dates revolve around dinner or drinks, and once you hit it off with someone it can be easy to spend time with your new partner instead of heading to the gym. If you aren’t careful, you can quickly gain back the five pounds you spent the last month working so hard to lose.
But don’t despair, it is very possible to both date and continue to lose weight by following a few simple tips:
Plan Active Dates
Instead of meeting for a meal, suggest a date where you both get moving. “Dieting is not all about food, it’s about being active, too,” said Kenzie Harrick, Certified Health Coach at KHolistic.com. Some ideas include a bike ride, kayaking, hiking, roller skating or even throwing football in the park together. “Active dates are a creative date idea, a way to exercise and a way to test your connection with more than dinner conversation,” said Harrick. During dates where you do eat out, suggest an after dinner walk to work off the calories and get some fresh air.
When you go out on a date involving food, make sure that you make smart choices during the meal. Eat a healthy snack before heading out so that you do not devour the bread basket simply because you are starving. Look at the restaurant menu online before the date to see if calorie counts are listed and plan your meal without the pressures of the date.
During the date, keep your resolve to eat healthy even if your date orders a bacon cheeseburger with onion rings. Consider allowing yourself one splurge during the date, such as having one fried cheese stick or sharing a dessert, while sticking to your diet for the rest of the meal.
“You should also watch alcohol intake because it can lower inhibitions and cause you to disregard your body’s food preference and satiation signals,” says Karen R. Koenig LCSW, M.Ed. and author of Nice Girls Finish Fat.
Cooking a meal together is a fun way to get to know someone and a great way to eat healthier than a restaurant. “Suggest a romantic dinner at home where you can showcase your culinary skills. This puts the menu in your hands,” says Harrick. She also adds that making food for someone can be a very intimate experience.
If your date offers to cook for you and the menu isn’t on your diet, offer to bring a healthy side dish to fill up on and eat small portions of the entree.
Cooking together is also a great way to introduce a date who may not eat as healthy as you to do the fact that healthy foods can also taste good. He’s not a vegetarian? Promise to cook him a delicious vegetarian meal to open his eyes.
You may feel uncomfortable at first sharing that you are on a diet or choosing the eat healthier and that is totally understandable. For the first few dates, you can simply make sure make healthy choices and tell your date that you try to eat healthy whenever possible. Once you find someone you really like, you should tell them about your weight loss goals and journey so that they can understand where you have been and support you. You want to be with someone who wants to be with you, dieting and all.