Let’s have some fun here, like this is date number one, and kick things with some trivia. But before we get into it, I’ll be honest, this may be a little easier than your usual local Friends trivia that throws questions at you like “Who was the maid of honor at Monica’s wedding” or “how many seasons of Friends are there in total?” Instead, we are talking nutrition-dating trivia, and my first question to you is…
True or False? Dates at BYOB spots tend to have a higher engagement and interaction rate.
True. Some even reported that pre-date texts about ‘what do you like to drink, I’ll grab a bottle’ sealed the deal, way before the dinner reservation.
Were you able to guess it right? Alright, Dr. Phil! Let’s see if we can keep this streak going for two out of two here, with our final question to break the ice.
What percentage of Americans polled agreed they would be more likely to go on a first date with someone if they mentioned they’re a good cook on their dating profile? With your guess here, just like we do with macros, you can be ‘within 5’ (percent), and I’ll accept it as the correct answer.
2 out of 3 Americans polled (or 66%) agreed that they would be more likely to go on a first date with someone if they mentioned they’re a good cook on their dating profile.
Here is the truth: food is such an essential component of dating, even to the extent that how someone eats may be a turn-off (loud chewer, messy eater, there are many ways that somebody can leave a wrong impression when it comes to first dates). In contrast, how much time we spend on social media, food posts, or someone’s cooking abilities, as portrayed by an IG Reel or a Tik Tok post, can be the reason why we subconsciously find someone to be more attractive. So, let’s crackdown a bit here about the impacts of dating on your nutrition. In what ways could dating be sabotaging your success? Or are we just looking at it from the wrong perspective? I have boiled down dating and nutrition to five common myths. So, let’s make dating fun again by planning for success!
Myth #1: You Should Never Talk About Nutrition on a Date
Okay, this is a half-myth. Many people might be deterred by their date mentioning nutrition or mindful food choices. It can create a lot of extra stress around trying to pick a place to eat, wondering if you’ll have fun, etc. But consider this: With the increasing emphasis on self-care and wellness, both attendees on a date may likely have aligning views when it comes to what you eat. However, they may both be too shy to say anything at first, with the fear that their idea will get rejected. Therefore, without dipping too far into the psychological side of dating, let’s put the first checkbox on this list of ways to conquer nutrition and dating while overcoming the fear of making a suggestion that aligns with your lifestyle. Simply put, suggest what feels right and don’t hold back.
Myth #2: You Have to Drink on a Date
Next up on the checklist are liquid calories. A sit-down dinner, face-to-face with low background noise, maybe a bit much for some first dates. Instead, meeting for drinks seems to be the option that tops the charts regarding date number one. Of course, if you focus on weight loss, you might not be willing to sacrifice those extra calories and macros on a drink. But, you also may not want to order sparkling water on a first date to a bar.
Try to get creative when thinking about a casual meetup spot for drinks. Wind back the clock a few hours and trade the bar for the barista. There are close to 50,000 coffee shops across the US, so I can guarantee you, you’ll find a local spot that fits the mood of your first date. More importantly, swapping out a couple of cocktails and the hundreds of empty calories that come with it will keep you focused and in line with your calorie goals. Not to point out the obvious here, but coffee shops and an afternoon date will have a lot more lighting too. See what I did there?
Myth #3: You Can’t Plan for a Dinner Date at a New Restaurant
Alright, off we go to checklist item number three. Say things took a more intimate turn, and we’ve fancied ourselves a shirt and tie to meet our date at dinner. Is that a big no-no? Absolutely not! You’ve secured yourself a first (or second) date, and that’s the bigger victory here. If you’ve already got a spot picked out, to which both of you’ve agreed, then that right there is the most significant victory. But don’t sweat if you haven’t decided just yet. We’re here to help you decide, with both your nutrition goals and your dating performance in mind:
- Do we feel confident about the trivia question number, to where we dwindle our options down to BYOB spots?
- What macronutrient do you find yourself having the toughest time with regarding sticking to the plan? If it’s carbohydrates, perhaps an Italian restaurant that specializes in homemade pasta is most likely not your first choice. Most Italian spots won’t be BYOB anyway, given that they’ll have an extensive list of Chianti reds. Is protein something you find yourself chasing down at the end of the day? Then take full advantage of your needs and select a spot that offers some of your favorite protein options, whether it’s fresh fish, duck, octopus, or even a signature tofu dish.
- We’d be fooling nobody if we said you haven’t done a little bit of detective work on who your date is. Whether you briefly scanned their Instagram or you’ve shared text exchanges with friends of friends who know the individual, it isn’t impossible to get some background on what kind of food they may prefer. Now, given that our palate does change quite often, this may be your riskiest option, in that you are pretty much gambling based on assumption, but that’s a whole new factor of fun, in my opinion. If one of their favorite spots/frequently visited spots aligns with your nutrition goals, suggest that particular spot and let them feel comfortable since it is essentially a home-court advantage for them.
- This one may vary, depending on the setup for dinner, as well as your particular nutrition goals. Similar to how you wouldn’t show up to the grocery store very hungry, it’s actually not a bad strategy to have a little fruit or a snack before you go out. If you’re wondering why you would ever do such a thing, there are two great reasons.
- The first is more aligned with frugality and finances, so we won’t get into that.
- However, the second one is that you will be less likely to overeat calorically dense foods or drinks if you pregame with some fruits and vegetables before heading out the door. Just do me a favor and make sure your mouth isn’t purplish-blue from the blackberries and you don’t have a fibrous strand of celery sticking out in between your middle two teeth. Control your initial appetite, and you will be more likely to stick to a tasting menu or a single dish.
Myth #4: You Cannot Host a Date at Your Place
Going back to our main checklist, there should absolutely be a subsection in there around some of the dining limitations and city-specific restrictions around dining out. The solution to that may be eating in, and if you remember trivia question number two, there is a 66% increase in the likelihood of scoring a first date if you can prove your skills in the kitchen. Sure, for many of us, inviting someone into our home to cook them a meal may not be until the third or fourth date, but it’s never a bad idea to mentally prepare. Keeping this statement as PG as possible, when you’ve made it to the stage of being the dinner host and having the honor of cooking the meal, you’ve sealed the deal. What I mean by that is, as a host, you control the menu. You can create a menu that falls in line with your macros. You have the ability to chef up a lighter menu that won’t weigh you both down afterward. Plus, you don’t have to feel like you are on the clock. Take your time eating! Enjoy the conversation! And if you’re comfortable with the cooking skills involved and have fun spending time in the kitchen together, plan out a menu that features a variety of tapas.
Myth #5: Dates Can Only Happen at Restaurants
Last but not least, realize that dates don’t have to be centered around food. Just like your Stronger U coach may challenge you with 10,000 steps or activities outside of your comfort zone, flip the script and move things along. Suggest going for walks around your favorite parts of the city or through the most relaxing parks or enjoy the riverfront for your daily dose of fresh air. If walking is not your thing, rent some shared bikes like Citi Bike and make a day out of it. Want to get more adventurous? If you’re close to where you both live, go skiing or hiking and tackle the bigger adventures. Circle back to checkbox number one on this list we’ve created, and remember that the most crucial point to all of this is overcoming your fear of making a suggestion that aligns with your lifestyle. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box. In all honesty, coffee, and a few games of Pickleball or tennis; a round of golf or an hour at the driving range, followed by brunch; or even a hike with a picnic at the peak all sound like dates most of us will not turn down.
Have fun, be you, and make suggestions based on what feels right. After all, dating and nutrition overlap in almost every way possible.
So there you have it! Your five most common myths when it comes to eating and nutrition. Bookmark this blog for the next time somebody swipes right on your picture, and you’re ready to jump into the dating pool again! Are you curious to learn more about how Stronger U coaches help members as you plan for events, just like dating? We’re ready to help!