Lockdown lifts: Implications and tips for our diets - Slim & Save
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Posted on 18 Jul 2021 Views 558 Comments 10

Lockdown lifts: Implications and tips for our diets

As we continue to come out of lockdown and into some sense of normality (or at least the ‘new normal!’), new challenges are posed when it comes to our diet and lifestyle. It may seem a particular challenge for some of you to continue keeping on track with your diet or maintenance plan, as things start to open up. With this in mind we thought it might be useful to share some implications on the roadmap out of lockdown for our eating and lifestyle, and some tips to help you through.

  • Eating out: watch frequency and choices – Restaurants, pubs and hospitality venues are re-opening, and whilst this is great news for businesses, it might not be such great news if you trying to lose weight. There’s always going to be a temptation to go back to our pre-lockdown lifestyles, which may have contributed to us gaining weight over the years. If you’re on one of our plans, this is unlikely to impact you as much, but if you’re trying to maintain your weight, or are just looking to stay healthy, here are our top 3 tips to help you make healthier choices when eating out:
    1. Read the menu before you go, so you can decide on a healthy option in advance. Decide beforehand if you’re going to have a starter or dessert, and which one you’ll find it easier to decline.
    2. Don’t be afraid from asking the restaurant to alter your dish, e.g. replacing chips with a jacket, asking for no butter or oil, or adding a side salad or vegetables.
    3. Choose dishes based around lean chicken, turkey, fish or lean red meats, as these will likely contain less calories that fatty meats, battered or deep fried options
  • Pubs opening: drinking alcohol – Along with the opening of hospitality venues bringing new challenges to us in terms of our eating, this also poses challenges around drinking. Alcohol is surprisingly high in calories, with a large glass of white wine containing around 190kcal (about the same as two slices of white bread) and a pint containing around 210 kcal (about the same as a four-finger KitKat). In addition to alcohol, cocktails will rack up extra calories through the addition of syrups, cream and fruit juices. Alcohol is also an appetite stimulant, and can therefore lead to overeating at mealtimes, late at night and even the next day. Here are our top 3 tips for watching your calories from alcoholic drinks:
    1. Set yourself a limit on how much you plan to drink, in advance
    2. Choose diet mixers with single spirits, e.g. gin and slimline tonic; vodka and diet coke. Sip slowly so the drink lasts longer
    3. Choose smaller portions, e.g. half pint, small glass, single measure
  • Cafes opening: is it just another coffee? – Along with the opening of pubs, cafes are now open to sit inside, rather than just grabbing a takeaway. There is a vast array of different coffees, hot chocolates, frappes and other drinks available at your everyday café, many of which are very high in calories. Choosing skinny milk, no added sugar versions, and avoiding extras (like cream and marshmallows) will help you keep your calorie intake down. Keep sugary drinks to special occasions rather than including them regularly.
  • Continue the good habits you’ve started – you may well have started some good habit over lockdown, such as doing more exercise in general, having a daily walk, eating regular meals, and watching your intake of snacks. Consider ways of how you can stay motivated to continue to keep up these good habits. Exercise, in particular, is one area that’s so important to continue. Now that many groups have re-opened, why not join a local exercise group, running group or bootcamp to help you stay motivated and meet likeminded people?
  • Flexible working / workplace re-opening – many people are still working from home and will be for the foreseeable future. Others will be going back to their workplace, or find themselves being able to work flexibly going forward, with many workplaces offering flexible working policies as a response to the pandemic. It can be hard to get the right balance and manage the dietary and lifestyle demands of going back into the office, including irregular meals, different stresses. increased frequency of eating lunch out, and managing the office treats.

Annemarie Aburrow RD BSc (Hons) PGDipWe hope these tips and pieces of advice can help keep you on track as we adapt to the new normal, we know it's not going to be easy after 18 months of covid restrictions and we want to remind you we are hear to help and support you every step of the way!

Written by Annemarie Aburrow RD BSc (Hons) PGDip, Slim & Save Dietitian.

Do you have any tips to share on how you intend to cope with the lifted restrictions? Leave your comments below to be in with a chance to win 20 individual sachets of your choice! 3 Winning comments will be chosen on Friday 23rd July 2021 at 4 pm.

Comments on Lockdown lifts: Implications and tips for our diets
Michelle Young 22/07/2021 17:18
Definitely plan ahead. Some places really don't have many if any options that are suitable on plan. I always check out 2 or 3 restaurants menus to make sure there's something suitable there for me and I decide what going to have before I go and stick to it.
Carol Pearce 22/07/2021 10:08
I will not be going out of my way to go to restaurants but if I do I will be very cautious. Mask and gel are definitely essential along with
A shake pack and shaker everywhere I go, "just incase".
It worries me that covid cases are increasing and hope that most stay as cautious.
Tracey yates (Clarkson) 21/07/2021 22:00
I on the second leg of my journey, the finest time round I lost 3st , I did really well in the fist lock down, but the second saw me put 2 stone back on so I’m back to lose the 2 stone & more to reach my goal & nothing is going to stop me, I will drink water if I’m out & if I go for food it will be an healthy low carb meal.
My tips are be prepared for every eventuality have extra packs/ bars in your bag.
Tell yourself you are strong & you can & will do this
If you are asked out for a meal don’t say no go enjoy & have a huge chicken salad or salmon & veg.
If your going for coffee again take a bar if you always have this on you , you have no excuse to have cake & it just makes you feel like you’re not missing out.
And think how good you will feel if you can put these in place it’s a win win.
Joanna Rance 20/07/2021 18:15
I would suggest that if you can, you make yourself the designated driver so you can't drink. Or just drive yourself. Then order a water and a coke zero, make sure you only sip the coke zero so it lasts longer. Remember that you shouldn't be coming straight off plan and consuming alcohol anyway, as this can be fatal.
If you're having food in a restaurant / cafe / pub make sure you use the sns planner to log this and keep you on track. Some places cook vegetables in butter, so I would opt for a salad instead without the dressing.
Do what the author states and look at the menu first. If you don't think you can stick to plan, maybe take a favourite bar or shake so you can have that instead.
If you do eat something you shouldn't, don't get too annoyed or disheartened, jump straight back onto the diet to reduce any impact. If you've been particularly naughty, you could do a bit of extra exercise to help burn off the extra calories.

I have decided to have 5 days off the plan in the middle of August for my mum's birthday. I have made some of my closest friends aware so we can plan a few meet ups. I've also arranged to attend the gym this week. I will still have the shakes for my breakfast and lunch during these days off plan.

I hope people don't feel too anxious, and enjoy any time they spend reconnecting with friends.
Cat Hurst 20/07/2021 16:22
Freedom day doesn't really mean freedom to a lot of people. I'll still wear my mask, I'll still carry sanitiser everywhere, when running events with our org we will be supplying masks for anyone who wants them and running a traffic light system of green - I'm happy to have no social distance, yellow - I'm happy with no social distance but please don't hug/touch me and red - please keep 2m distance from me. We're hoping this will help people feel comfortable about reintroducing in person socialisation.

I'm restarting slim and save today and I'm using this as a kick to stop making excuses for myself coming off plan. It's Pride this weekend but I've made the decision of not drinking, not eating and taking water flavouring with me. No more excuses, no more using coming out of lockdown as an excuse for me!! Mask on, water flavouring in my bag.
Peter Callow 19/07/2021 16:55
Hi There,

I’ve only been on Slim & Save for 7 weeks & have lost 4st 11lbs so far but with the new Lockdown Restrictions lifted I’m worried about how things will be when Friends come to stay. You see I’m disabled & housebound so will not be going out to Restaurants etc. But not seeing some Friends for over 18 months comes with new challenges! I have a Swimming Pool so all my Friends suddenly want to come visit, I’m unsure why?!?!

However, in tow with Friends coming to visit I’m at risk of coming out of Ketosis by drinking Alcohol, as it is always associated with a gathering of Friends - It’s always been a done thing as I used to own a Restaurant - so everyone will want to bring foods & alcohol or insist on getting a Takeaway. I haven’t told many people that I am on a Diet so I’m worried that I’ll be tempted into going back into my old habits but feel my new found “Will Power” will see me through. I have already told a couple of friends about me being on Slim & Save & whilst they are very supportive they are of the attitude of “You can take a Day off!” But I’m worried that if I have a couple of glasses of Wine or Champagne I will come out of Ketosis. How much Alcohol; will it take to bring me out of Ketosis? Does anyone know?

The Friends I’ve told that want to come & stay over who know I’m dieting I have told that they can have whatever Takeaway that they want or they can bring their own food & have a BBQ but I will still stay on Plan & eat my own food. I have found this new level of “Willpower” & “Strength” to keep on my Slim & Save diet for some 8 weeks tomorrow so I think I will be able to eat with friends whilst they tuck into a Chinese or Curry & not be tempted by it. Also, I have thought that when re-filling drinks I can sneak in fizzy water in place of Champagne & Vodka and Coke for just Coke Zero!! I would like to have a couple of Drinks for one day but still stay on plan so I may see how I feel on the day. In my next Order I have ordered more Shakes than usual & thought they would be perfect to have as a Mocktail with Friends when it is meal time! Does anyone else have tricks that they have done to still be part of the Party but not attacking the nibbles, the Curry or the Crispy Duck!? However, I really do feel that I have that much appreciation & dedication to Slim & Save now that I can reject anything “Naughty” that comes my way.

I’m so pleased with my weight loss & I really do believe that Slim & Save is the best diet I have ever done & I have tried most of them! Enough so that my willpower is so much stronger than my won’t power! I can keep up with the water intake & stay on plan because of the great selection offered & the friendly support team too boot! I would encourage anyone who is on the fence whether or not to try Slim & Save I wholeheartedly say “Try It” - it really does work!! Thank you for reading this far & Good Luck to my fellow members who may now go out to Restaurants, Pubs & Cafes.

Stay Safe.

Kind Regards,

Peter
Jacqueline Thomas 19/07/2021 11:41
Freedom Day makes no difference to me at all. I'm continuing my weight loss journey as normal. This is a lifestyle change for me, not a temporary fix.
I'll be drinking my water allowance every day and sticking to low carb/high protein choices on my Lifestyle days. If I am in a situation where my choices are limited, I'll eat smaller portions and won't feel guilty about not being on plan.
Every day is different and there will be difficult days, but using the SnS support network keeps me on track and helps me celebrate my success
debra grudzien 19/07/2021 10:09
For me, the most important thing to do is plan and prepare. If you are going to a pub decide whether you intend to drink alcohol before you go, you could always drive instead of drinking if you enjoy the social aspect. If you are drinking choose wisely, a white spirit like bacardi e.g. with coke zero, made into a long drink with lots of ice works out at 65 calories. Don't forget you are not used to the alcohol and drink water or sparkling water alongside it. Drink the water when thirsty and sip your cocktail slowly and really enjoy it.

As Annemarie said: If you are planning on eating out, look at the menu before you go and choose your meal in advance. Most places will leave off undesired bits like chips and sauces etc. Look forward to what you are having and eat slowly, concentrating on what you are eating and stopping when you are full. Stick to things like steak, pork chops, lamb shops, lean burgers without the bun, grilled chicken and fish and have it with salad leaves or boiled/steamed veggies.

If you are going to the beach take lots of bottled water with you in a cool bag, add ice and water flavouring if you like, take a bar to nibble on in case people get ice cream. Join in with a coke zero for a treat if people are buying pop. If you stop for fish and chips, just have a fish, take the batter off and just eat the fish with salt and pepper.

When going to work take your meals and snacks with you and plenty of water, drink coffee and tea but make your own so you can measure your milk, take sweeteners if you use them. Ignore office treats, e.g. if someone brings in doughnuts, by nibbling on a bar. If you are triggered by other people eating in the office, go for a walk, find a nice bench and sit outside for your break.

Most of all remember that nothing tastes as good as losing weight feels.
Liz Spence 19/07/2021 09:46
I’m just starting SNS for the 3rd time, this time I’m determined to give it a really good go and stick to it having stuck to it for a month in January and doing really well before falling back into bad habits and putting the weight back on
William Tait 19/07/2021 07:22
I am uneasy of the lockdown lifting so will still be masking up in social gatherings, I also found wearing a mask often made me walk past the coffee shop as I just couldn't be bothered with the hassle so it kind of assisted me sticking to my diet.

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