It’s always much harder to make healthier choices when we are out and about, right? There are cafes, restaurants, fast food shops and even just grocery stores everywhere and when all of these places offer discounts and meal deals on unhealthy food, it can take a lot of willpower to say no. But, what if we did?
If you follow my Instagram, you may have noticed that I have been working alongside Food Standards Scotland with their #NoToUpsizing campaign for the last few weeks.
What is #NoToUpsizing?
For those who aren’t aware, Food Standards Scotland introduced their #NoToUpsizing campaign at the start of March to give us some insight into why saying no can be hugely beneficial to our health.
When dining out, we are likely to consume many more calories than when we eat at home due to the choices we make. I know for me, I’m the type of person who will say yes to an unhealthier option because I feel the deal is great but should I let saving a few pennies detriment my health? Probably not.
Little Changes can have big results
Did you know that adding a side of garlic bread to your order could add about 380 calories to your meal? Then dessert on top of that, another 700 calories, perhaps? Before you know it, you have consumed more than half of your daily recommended calorie allowance in one meal.
Even just eating a chocolate brownie with your morning coffee each morning can add on 350 calories to your calorie count.
Cutting these little extras down could result in weight loss and will save you some money. Win win!
The #NoToUpsizing Challenge
So, when I was asked to challenge myself to make these healthier food choices, I thought it was a fun little experiment to see if I could actually say #NoToUpsizing.
I’m a relatively healthy person – I workout, I cook healthy meals and try not to overindulge but when it comes to eating out, I sometimes cannot help myself. I love food. And the best kinds do tend to be bad for you.
We’re obviously allowed everything in moderation (for example, try eating that chocolate brownie as a Friday treat, rather than every day) so my aim wasn’t to completely say no to every unhealthy option when I’m out but to choose a smaller portion or cut out on side dishes.
How did I get on?
My first week was a success. I went out for dinner to a local Italian restaurant and opted to have their skinny pizza.
This was just a smaller version of one of their original pizzas, made with a healthier wholemeal base and served alongside a fresh salad. The pizza was still incredibly filling and it was nice to be able to finish the whole meal without feeling like I was going to burst like I would with a regular pizza. This meal came in at under 600 calories which is brilliant for a meal at a restaurant.
I even said no to their upsizing of garlic bread or any other starters or side dishes.
I found this week a little bit harder to stay on track.
I started the week well with a super smoothie packed full of fruit and oats and a tuna panini with salad from a small ice cream shop near my home. I went to an ice cream shop and didn’t get ice cream, I’d say I did well! By the end of the meal, I didn’t even feel like I missed out by not treating myself to ice cream because my food and smoothie hit the spot.
So here is where it got sidetracked this week. It was Saturday night. It was late. I was hungry. So I decided to get a pizza. And not a skinny one this time. Oops. However, I did say no to my side of chicken strips and cookie dessert so I suppose it was a small victory.
Small slip-ups happen and that is okay. We are allowed to treat ourselves occasionally otherwise what is the point?
I told myself not to feel guilty and continue the remainder of the weekend on a healthier note which I did.
This week has been one of my busiest in a while so it was inevitable that I would be purchasing food out and about.
I had a beauty event so my friend and I ended up heading out for food after. I think we did quite well in opting to share some tapas dishes. The calories weren’t on the menu but being small, taster size potions, I believe we consumed less than we would’ve had we chosen our own main courses.
Yesterday, I went out with Blair for a nutritious avocado breakfast. The cafe I visited specialises in avocado dishes so instantly I knew this would be a healthier choice than going out for a cooked breakfast with sausages, bacon and all the trimmings. Alongside my breakfast, I had a super smoothie full of healthy ingredients.
It was delicious, full of goodness and the perfect way to end my #NoToUpsizing challenge.
My final thoughts
I think I did pretty well at fitting this campaign into my daily life. I felt proud of myself for choosing the healthier options which all ended up tasting just as fantastic as the unhealthy option would’ve.
I’m going to continue to use this method when I dine out. I’ve learned that previously I have eaten far more than I required when I go to a restaurant and it is not necessary. In the long run, this will result in a happier, healthier me plus I am saving some money along the way. Brilliant!
I now challenge you to make some small changes to your diet when you find yourself eating out by saying #NoToUpsizing.