[dropcap]B[/dropcap]reathe. Kind of true, but I have better tips. For the 12 tips on how to survive a festive dinner at a restaurant or frequent restaurant dinners as a model, scroll down a bit.
If you think “what scary tips is that girl sharing?!”, keep reading from here. At first I had doubts about whether to post these tips or not, as the advice should be breathe, enjoy your evening and the food. Also, the title sounds quite a bit pro-ana to me as well, you’re right about that. Or is it just my exorbitant concern not to come off as giving pro-ana tips?
Stress about dining out
Either way, understand that this is not my intention. My intention is seated on the fact that models have to take care of their body and clothing size throughout the whole year. They work the whole year round and need to fit in the same clothing size 24/7. With this knowledge and my own experiences with modelling over 15 years, I KNOW dining out in restaurants or that festive family restaurant dinner is something models can stress about.
Competitive fitness model’s: peak season and off season
Back to the fashion model requirement to fit in the same clothing size 24/7; that’s unlike competitive (figure) fitness models, who have peak season and off season. During peak season, in preparation for a competition, they maintain a diet that is too low calorie, unvaried and very strict for the amount of exercise they’ve been doing, to reach a very low and unhealthy body fat percentage at competition day, which they have no intention to maintain after the competition day. Cheats are not allowed and going out for dinner is a no-go area. After that day their choices regarding diet and caloric intake are a quite the opposite: ‘refeeds’ with loads of calories and ‘crap’ foods are stimulated.
You see now why the lifestyle of a full time fashion model is very much different from that of a competitive figure fitness model.
Fashion models: peak season the whole year round
As a fashion model peak season is literally the whole year round; with (possible) work every day of the week the whole year round, there is not much room for an off season-peak season diet. Much healthier, more pleasant for yourself and a better strategy to make sure you’re able to maintain your clothing size is, like I said, maintain a moderated, varied diet and make healthy, not too strict choices. Unlike competitive models at peak season, the whole year round peak season for fashion models dòes include a festive dinner at the restaurant!
Smart choices at the restaurant
Here’s how I maintain a varied, moderated diet and make healthy choices at the restaurant (just as I did last Sunday):
- I ask for extra vegetables as a side dish instead of bread or potatoes. Saves calories (I’m a calories in-calories out evangelist)!
- I order something from the grill, which is less greasy than something stir-fried.
- I order lean protein, such as (certified) tuna, chicken or sardine (for vegan, pescetarian protein sources get my e-book)
- I ask to serve dressings and sauces separately, so I can chose by myself how much dressing/sauce I take
- I drink sparkling water instead of soda
- I drink 1 glass of red wine (wine has healthy properties), no more (at least; I try ;))
- I order a big salad and ask to leave out croutons and pasta
- I don’t order dessert, but go for coffee and a chocolate bon-bon (or a bite of someone else’s dessert) instead
- I don’t take a starter, or maybe a very lean started like shrimp cocktail (dressing on the side) or carpaccio.
- Leave out the salt. Salt can make you retain water, especially if you normally keep this low.
- Suggest a restaurant and pick one of which you know serves healthy food.
- Invite your friends/family/business contacts to your home and prepare dinner yourself. Great opportunity to show them how tasty healthy food can be!
Of course, if you don’t go out for dinner very often, just enjoy the food! Having a feast once in a while won’t make you grow a dress size. Although I understand you want to maintain your weight, don’t be overly strict. Being overly strict is dangerous; you’re more likely to crack and perform unhealthy behavior (both mentally and physically).
What are your tips for eating out in a restaurant and making healthy/smart choices?