Our Fitstop Refine you Challenge is all about making positive lifestyle changes in the gym and in the kitchen to get you healthier and happier. We have designed the challenge meal plan to give you a variety of delicious and easy foods that align with your goals and as such, having a night out and eating a delicious meal is a part of this.
Here are some tips for challengers when you’re heading out for a meal:
1. Do your research. If you and some friends are looking for a place to go, have a quick look at the menu and see if there are some options that you’d be happy to have. A few recommended places in Brisbane for dinner are: Cheeky Poke Bowl (Newstead), Mon's Thai Rarnaharn (Windsor), Greenhouse Canteen + Bar (South Brisbane), Qahn Thanh (West End). A lot of places will have a standard ‘meat and veg’ option as well – even pubs.
2. Relax. This is just one meal. Allow yourself to not feel any guilt about ‘eating off plan’ and remind yourself that you can still make a healthy choice while out.
3. If you want to stick to the plan as close as possible, then in the challenge meal plan – there is a ‘basic meal option’ for all goals. This is a simple and effective way of ordering. Let’s say you’re at a Thai restaurant. Because we don’t advocate carrying scales around and weighing your meal to the gram, you can eyeball portions. The measurements on your ‘basic meal plan’ might be 120g protein, ½ cup starchy vegetables and 2 cups non-starchy vegetables. So, one way to do this would be ordering a stir-fry (rather than a creamy based dish) with coconut rice. A serve of protein for you is around the size of your palm (not including fingers). Now, we said about ½ cup of starchy vegetables was in our plan, so substitute that for the coconut rice (again, eyeball ½ of a cup). And lastly, is our non-starchy vegetables, so our carrots, broccoli, beans, bok choy etc. Our plan recommends around ~2 cups. But really, non-starchy vegetables are nutrient dense and not very energy dense, so go crazy. There we go. Now, this doesn’t have to be time-consuming. It should be used as a guide so you can still be as close to the plan as you can.
4. Try and limit ‘additional’ drinks. Now, as we are lifestyle-based challenge, we don’t absolutely restrict everything. However, having a night out (on the booze) may be influencing your results. Not only does alcohol impair your muscle recovery time is can have quite a high caloric value. While you think ‘one night out’ won’t affect you’re results, if you’re having something (or many something’s’) with a lot of energy then this may not have been accounted for in your nutritional plan; especially if you’re ordering cocktails and espresso martini’s (~300 calories). So, with that being said. If you do choose to drink alcohol, try and choose the ‘healthiest’ option and limit your serves. Recommend beverages are: 2 glasses of wine (with a meal), 1-2 mid-strength beers or 1-2 vodka, lime and soda’s. Alcohol isn’t necessarily beneficial to muscle growth or fat loss, but obviously we want your challenge results to be sustainable, which might include 1-2 drinks per week while you’re enjoying a night out.