A common question we get from our members is how to date while dieting and since today is Crista and I’s one year anniversary and love is in the air, I’m going to share a few quick tips about how to be successful at both.
You might have already noticed from page 3 of the Stronger U Guide, dating of any sort is banned until at least week 8, but I’d like to prepare you for when the time comes. That’s a joke…as much as I think it could be easier, I’m not that much of a monster.
You might be wondering why I’m tackling this topic and it’s not because I’m some dating expert, it’s just that I have some experience that might help. I went from a guy on a first date in August 2015 to a guy with a wonderful wife by July 13th, 2019 while still getting results and maintaining them. Balancing all the fun that comes with getting to know each other and deciding we were going to be each other’s humans was more simple than you might think.
Manage your first date well.
The first challenge most people have is managing the first date. Not only how to eat but also how you talk about how you eat. First I’ll say as long as you’re not going on first dates all the time that involve food, you’re probably going to be ok if you want to indulge a little for that special someone. As long as that’s not an all the time thing, you’re going to be just fine. But, my advice is to try to make dates fitness/adventure focused instead of food-focused. Not everyone will be “macro-worthy”.
It’s important to remember we don’t have to get to know someone with excess calories being the constant third wheel. Eating out is the thing that causes many people’s struggles so managing it well could be the key to success. When things start to open back up and you have more options available to you, try hiking, museums, concerts, sporting events, and walks through parks. Everyone goes out to eat, be a bit different. There are even cool websites or apps that can auto-populate some cool date ideas in your areas.
Don’t be afraid to talk about how you approach food.
The next tip is about how you talk about it. I’m a believer in being open about it because it’s important for this person to know if they can fit into your lifestyle and you in theirs. Some sacrifice in a relationship is assumed but it’s also a good idea to see how they react when they know your preferences might not be theirs. If someone is the polar opposite of what you’re trying to achieve and they are a bit put off by your attention to improvement, it might be a good idea to move on. You don’t need to find someone who is also on SU (although I don’t discourage a referral opportunity), but finding someone who respects your choice to eat a certain way is important.
I believe the saying goes something like this. If they can’t accept you at your most accurate, they don’t deserve you at your most inaccurate.
In all seriousness, if someone doesn’t live the same lifestyle as you it’s better to get it out in the open now rather than later. You matter and if your results are important you need to talk about it. You probably don’t need a lesson in communication but I will remind you of how important words can be when something is bugging you.
But what do you say and how do you say it? I believe that’s a lot easier than you might think. The conversation usually comes up in passing and you can simply say “I follow this style of eating, and it’s making me feel great.” Most people will be ok with it, ask some questions, and talk about some crazy nutrition advice to “relate”. I wouldn’t suggest correcting them yet, though. That’s more like a 3rd date thing.
I remember early in our relationship Crista thought I was going to be some over the top eater because I was in the fitness world. It was a pleasant surprise to her when I talked about how I actually ate. I let her know I stick to a plan most of the time but I have no problem adjusting when we might want to enjoy a bit. For you, that might be different depending on where you are on your journey, but meeting people in the middle is key. That goes for both them and you. Things might have been much different for us if all I ate was chicken and broccoli.
For me, thinking about the choice between having Crista or a set of abs was an easy choice and this is why balance for us is so important. Life isn’t about being perfect with food but it’s also not about eating whatever you want all the time. It’s about making the right choices most of the time and bringing the people you love along for the ride.
So don’t be afraid to mention how you eat or suggest alternative dates. There’s no need to hide who you’re trying to become when there’s a chance this person might be by your side for a very long time.