Tonight’s concert plan of action

We realised only yesterday that we had tickets for a concert in the 3Arena tonight.

Our normal plan, when going out in the city on a week-night, would be to meet somewhere in the city and have an early-bird dinner before the event. We’d also have a couple of drinks over dinner, as the price of drinks in concert venues is often inflated.

However doing this would not exactly be syn-friendly. When you add the dinner and drinks together we’d probably be way over our syn allocation for the day – and that’s before we’ve even made it the concert!

So what’s our plan of action?

Well this morning I brought both a packed lunch and dinner with me. And so, instead of going out to eat, I’m going to stay late in the office and eat dinner there.

I’ll be having a syn-free meal – actually left-overs from yesterday’s dinner – which I already know will be tasty, delicious, and healthy. And because I’ll still be in the office, I won’t be drinking alcohol with my meal – so that’ll save on some more syns.

The idea then, is to meet up with the misses half an hour before the gig for a quick drink in a local bar, and then head on to the concert.

The misses has also planned ahead for potential post-concert munchies. She’s prepared a chicken curry that’ll be waiting at home. So should we be hungry, we’ll be able to avoid the temptation to get a take-away, as there’s a tasty and healthy alternative ready to eat.

Hopefully all this will help ensure we end up having a great night – but also a healthy night!

The great unknown of eating out

Unless you’re a total social hermit and never go out, at some point you’re going to have to face the challenge of eating out!

The Slimming World app can help with the syn values of the food served by the major brands, but if you like to eat in more independent restaurants then you might be on your own.

To try and minimise any damage I might cause to myself, I try to employ a number of coping strategies:

  • Check the restaurant menu ahead of time. Most places have their menus online, I am able to check them in advance and decide what I’m going to have. It saves me from making panicked decisions (wrong decisions?) when ordering.
  • Eat before going out. Yeah, I know this sounds kind-of strange – eating before going out to a restaurant. But if I know that the restaurant only serves very calorific food and that there are no healthy options available, then I eat before I get there. That way, I’ll not be hungry when I get there, and I’ll only want something small to eat like a starter. I can still socialise with my friends and family, but not lose control.
  • Ask the waiter questions. Most restaurants will know or can find out how dish is cooked.  So if it’s not obvious I like to check if something is going to be fried, roasted or boiled. And I ask what ingredients are going to be added. It’s amazing – some places will even cook dishes without oil if I mention that I am on a low fat diet.
  • Order off-menu. Some restaurant are more happy to accommodate this than others, but if I don’t ask I don’t get! If I think that a particular ingredient is going to be high in syns then I ask for it to be left out of my meal – or perhaps substitute it for some lovely speedy vegetables. And if there’s a sauce on the dish, I ask for it “one the side” so that I can determine how much or how little I put on the plate.

If all else fails, and I haven’t got the time or nerve in the middle of the restaurant to be checking all the ingredients on your Slimming World app, then I go with my gut instinct. I try to remember that lean meat or fish and vegetables are always a good option – as long as they are not cooked with half a pound of butter!

And it’s also worth remembering that the occasional controlled blow-out can’t cause that much damage. It’s only when I throw caution to the wind and ignore all the food optimizing rules out the of the window that I spoil my weight loss. If I make semi-sensible decisions then I can usually avoid a shock result at the next weigh-in!

Back on Track on Monday

I think I went over my syns during the weekend. I don’t really know, because I lost track, because there was alcohol involved.

We had friends round for dinner on Saturday, and I ended up having more drinks that I planned. After the first gin and tonic it was all downhill. But at least I was drinking bottles of Coors Light beer, which are 5 syns a bottle. It could have been much worse if the red wine was open!

We cooked the BBQ Pulled Pork in the slow cooker, and served it in 60g wholemeal rolls (from M&S) with lashings of salad and Slimming World chips. The only problem was that it all tasted too good, and I ended up having a second roll (oops, another 6 syns). And then there was dessert of strawberries, crushed up meringues, and vanilla yoghurt (syns unknown).

It was a lovely dinner, but it didn’t stop me scoffing a granola bar (5 syns) with a cup of tea just before bed.

Then Sunday came around, and I was out for lunch with friends. We ended up in an italian restaurant where I would normally order a pizza. But I figured a whole pizza (who would only eat half?) would clock up about 50 syns! So I had a grilled chicken salad instead. It had loads of olives in it, but I don’t care. They’re nowhere near as bad as the pizza would have been.

I also had a small glass of wine with lunch, which could easily have turned into two or three!

Then, over dinner at home that evening, it was a struggle to resist having another few beers. I was tired, and it’s easy to make bad decisions when you’re tired. But I somehow managed to step away from the fridge.

Now it’s Monday, and I have a new-found determination to get back on track. My mind is focused on the Wednesday weigh-in, and my target to lose 2 pounds. I don’t know if I’ll make it, but I’m sure going to try!