How to Eat What You Want and Still Lose Weight

Tell me if this story sounds familiar.

  • You’re doing great.
  • You’re focused on eating healthy.
  • You’ve upped your activity.
  • You are feeling great. You’re motivated and rocking your weight loss.

    Then you get invited to your spouse’s work party at one of the best restaurants in town, your kids received numerous birthday party invitations, and the girls want to get together for a night on the town.

Instantly, you start feeling the pressure.

How are you going to stay on track? What can I order besides salad? Wait, {insert groan here} am I doomed to eat salad for the rest of my life as my go-to for going out? Should I back out? I’ve been doing so well, and I don’t want to ruin all my hard work. You have thousands of questions and feel impending doom coming your way.

One of the biggest questions we get at Dirigo Fitness is how in the world do I navigate real life events while I’m losing weight?

It’s a fantastic question and one that is on so many women’s minds. So how do you handle the real life events that happen so frequently? And let’s be honest the moment you feel invincible is the moment you’re invited to three children’s birthday parties complete with ridiculous amounts of cake and an open buffet of food. Just when you thought you were ahead of the game you have to rethink the way you’re going to go out and enjoy yourself.

First, don’t worry! It’s going to be alright. I promise! It is not impossible for you to go to real life events and still lose weight. It’s actually better for you to start treading those waters now and incorporate your habits into your lifestyle.


Going out is not an excuse

Often times when we go out we want to just let our guard down and enjoy ourselves. You’ve worked hard all week, you’ve shuttled kids back and forth and quite frankly you want to let your hair down. You don’t want to think about food, nutrients and making better decisions.

We may find ourselves using going out as an excuse to get off track. It’s easy after a hard week to feel we need to “reward” ourselves, but rewarding one’s self with food is never a good option. Don’t look at going out as a chance to go off track, look at it as an opportunity for you to continue to enjoy yourself and do great things for you, sans food.

Refocus your attention

Ask yourself this question, why are you going to this event? 9 times out of 10 we’ll find that we are aren’t going to the event for the food; we’re going for the interaction. Focusing on the people you’re going out with, and the interactions you’ll experience makes it so much easier to not focus on the food.

Think about a time you were involved in a really deep conversation with a friend. Did you think about food? Did you worry about eating? Did you go back and forth about whether or not you’d eat that brownie? No. You probably didn’t even realize you had barely eaten your food.

Focusing on going to an event and spending quality time with those you love, and truly enjoying their company will help you stay away from thinking too heavily about food or debating whether or not to eat another slice of cake. Don’t center your whole attention on food center it on those you’re with.

Allow for changes

You can make a plan all you want, but be flexible and know that things will come up when you go out. You may have planned out your dinner before heading to a restaurant only to learn they were out of the entrée you wanted. You can still make great decisions and enjoy yourself. First, order something you want. If you don’t like salad, please don’t order a salad! You’ll resent it and you won’t be happy.

Instead, follow these easy dining out rules from Dirigo Fitness:

  1. Order something you enjoy and truly want
  2. Make healthy modifications as best you can (such as dressing on the side, no sauce, veggies instead of fries)
  3. If it’s really decadent, split it
  4. Take your time eating; it’s not a race!

When changes do come up follow Dirigo dining out tips and try your very best. The most important thing is NOT conceding defeat before you even get there.  Remember you don’t need to eat to have a great time. What is do need to focus on is consistency. Living a healthy life is a practice and when situations change adapting and maintaining some kind of consistency is what’s important. You need to eat to live! So make sure you’re having a great time first and worry about the food second.


You CAN, I repeat, you can indulge occasionally and still lose weight. You can most certainly eat some of the appetizer your friend's order. You just can’t eat half of the appetizer, and a huge portioned entrée and a dessert and you can’t do it all of the time. So make compromises with yourself and only pick the things you REALLY want to enjoy when you go out to dinner or a friend’s house.

Don’t really like the appetizer they picked? Skip it, eat your entrée and split a dessert. Make sure when you’re indulging it’s something you really love. Don’t just get something to get something. In the end, you won’t be happy with your decision if you settle for just anything.

Most importantly, remember to enjoy yourself! This is YOUR life. Losing weight, good substantial weight loss that is takes time. You can’t white-knuckle it for months or years without enjoying yourself. Why? Because it’s not sustainable and in the end if it’s not sustainable why are you doing it? If you’re tired of doing the same old thing over and over and you’re ready for something that will change you, not just today but forever, click on the link below to learn more about our nutrition program.