Today I’m in San Diego. I’m here for a 3-day fitness conference, learning and hanging out with some of the smartest fitness minds in the world.

One of them is Adam Bornstein, New York Times best-selling author of Engineering The Alpha and former editor of Men’s Health magazine.

So yeah, he knows a thing or two about a thing or two.

Getting my learn on with Adam Bornstein

So last night I went out for a meal with some of the other trainers.

Even when I’m on holidays, I always try to watch what I’m eating. Sure I’ll relax a little bit, but the last thing I want is to come back with 5 or more extra kilo’s.

The hardest part with dieting is socializing. You feel like you can’t exactly eat chicken and broccoli at every restaurant you go to, and why on earth would you want to?

So here’s my plan whenever I eat out with mates:

·      Have something to drink. I’ll choose soda water, as it’s refreshing and is fizzy, so it feels like a party in my mouth. A low-fat, low-calorie party. If everyone else is drinking, you won’t feel as left out.

·      Or I’ll have scotch, on the rocks. I can easily sip this over an hour or so, in which time the others have probably had 3 or 4 beers. So you don’t feel the need to go 1 for 1 like you would if you were buying rounds. Skip the soft drink. Man up and drink it straight.

·      Start the meal with some salads and greens. Last night I chose a green bean and tomato salad, with some grilled brocollinni.

·      For main, choose a protein. For me, it’s always a steak. So I enjoyed a 300g filet mignon, cooked rare. It’s important I mentioned how it was cooked – if you have your steak well-done, we simply can’t be friends.

·      I skipped dessert. If you really want dessert, ask for a black coffee and 1-2 squares of dark chocolate. Or simply ask to see if they can arrange a large bowl of fresh fruit, preferably berries. These dessert options decrease the calories by up to 80%. Some of the others were going all out for cheat-day, but I kept it clean.

·      Lay down the ground rules. Be loud + proud of what you’re doing. So many people are embarrassed that they’re doing “another” diet. Take the opposite approach. Tell your friends. Not in a condescending, douchey way. But in a way that will hopefully inspire them. Craig Ballantyne, the main coach here at my seminar, says that, “there are more folks secretly wishing someone will take charge and be a healthy role model for them. It might not happen overnight, but if you continue to lead by healthy example – without preaching or being condescending – you can build an entourage of social support and people who want to be healthy like you. This will build powerful relationships that will take your health to the next level.”

Did you say, steak?

Did you say, steak?

So there you have it – my formula for eating out when dieting.

Greens + steak + fruit + peer support = success.

Simple, huh?

Pete “Keeping It Clean In San Diego” Tansley

PS – What’s your strategy for eating out when dieting? Let me know in the comments below! 

  • James Sali

    Always my rule, Eat the most expansive steak on the menu, and go for the salad and vege instead of chips as a side.

    • Pete Tansley

      Yes, I always go for the most expansive as well. Bigger is better 🙂