It’s not often we have a guest blog on the website. The following was actually written by a client of mine as a Facebook post in our Ladies that Lift VIP Supergroup. Charlotte has hit the nail bang on the head with her tips for surviving the busy London social life while still making progress in her health, fitness and body comp.
I’ve been having a very sociable time recently, and that has resulted in some additional refinements to the “how to survive a hectic social life plan” I developed in December to manage the ever busy Christmas Festivities.
This advice also works for those times when you can’t adhere to usual routine.
Figure out your limits…
How many nights out can you handle?
How can you ensure you get the sleep you need?
How many cheat meals and alcoholic drinks can you have without scuppering your progress?
Do you need to have more realistic goals for a period? – Aim to maintain rather than lose weight, for example.
And are there ways to counterbalance the additional calories, such as walking between meetings?
Once you have this figured out, you can then come up a plan of how to apportion your limited resources.
Here are some tips:
1. Alcohol is one of the biggest challenges. You might, for example, decide to only have three drinks in a week. So then you need to decide when and with whom you will enjoy those drinks. Or you could decide to not drink during the week but to have a couple at the weekend. Or not drink at work dos but to drink with friends. Or you might decide to try something more radical and not drink at all.
2. Avoid crap food. My biggest challenge in this regard is after-work drinks parties replete with carb and fat-laden canapes. To avoid face-planting the finger food, I eat a big portion of protein and a few carbs before the party then eat yoghurt and fruit when I come home. And only drink water.
3. If you are going to formal lunches or dinners, then don’t be afraid to be a diva and ask for special food in advance.
When I’m invited to an awards dinner, for example, I ask for a gluten-free dinner. That way I’ll get a much lighter starter and desert. The other night, for example, I got a vegetable medley rather a deep-fried rice ball and a jelly and fruit rather than a tart.
Don’t be afraid to request a restaurant where they will be lots of high-quality protein to eat. Suggest meeting for breakfast – I now do this a lot – I order poached eggs, grilled bacon and tomato and have a fruit salad. It’s easy to comply with macros for this meal and there is absolutely no question of having to drink alcohol!
When you are going out in the evening, make sure you save up carb and fat macros but eat lots of protein earlier in the day. Protein portions in restaurants tend to be much smaller than but there will be lots of fat and carbs.
4. Practise wafting into parties late and your Cinderella skills. At more formal work occasions there is no need to arrive on time or stay to the bitter end. An hour and a half is ample at a drinks party. You will also create an air of mystique if you leave the office party early. This will guarantee that you are tucked up under your duvet on time and you won’t be the butt of office gossip the next morning!
5. As you are no longer attending these parties to guzzle the free food and drink, find an alternative reason for you to be there. For example, do you want some quality time with your team (before they get too drunk)? Or use the party to network with more senior management? Or flirt with the hot guy in sales? This will allow you to enjoy the occasion rather than focus on the deprivation of staying sober and restrained with food.
6. Value quality over quantity. When you do decide to let your hair down, make sure you go for the best of what you want. So have a really good glass of wine or an excellent cocktail. If you go out for dinner choose high-quality food like crab salad, dry-aged steak or spankingly fresh fish. And enjoy every mouthful!
And finally, remember that to err is human – even with the best plan you will probably stray on the odd occasion and have four drinks instead of two or dessert when you meant to eat fruit. Don’t panic. This will not be great undoing of all your good work. Remember that without the plan you would have drunk and eaten more. So simply shrug it off, ladies, and get on it like a car bonnet the very next day. Or when the hangover subsides…