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Avoid Diet Sabotage

Don’t worry; you don’t need superhuman willpower to resist his temptations. Dating doesn’t have to sabotage your diet if you’re careful.

By Elsa K. Simcik

ou’re a salad kinda girl. He’s an all-you-can-eat-buffet kinda guy. Okay, so you’re actually a juicy hamburger/greasy burrito/ice cream kinda girl, but he doesn’t have to know that. You have good intentions when it comes to dieting, but when you’re dating someone — especially if that someone is a guy — it’s hard to say no to the 2 a.m. question: “How ’bout we hit the drive through for some cheeseburgers and fries?” Try a few of these tasty tricks:

Show up half-full
You’ve got a big date tonight. What do you do? Eat three sunflower
When you get right down to it, he doesn’t really care where you go out to eat.
seeds for breakfast and skip lunch. Wrong. Sure you wanna fit into your pants and maybe even wear the belt, but pre-date starvation will only lead to post-date humiliation. You’ll end up consuming all the fajitas for two. The trick is to be full enough that you don’t gnaw on the dessert menu but hungry enough that you don’t say, “Just water with lemon for me. But only one lemon, please. I’m stuffed.”

Make it ladies’ night
When you get right down to it, he doesn’t really care where you go out to eat. He just wants you to make up your mind. Just like hamsters, men respond to decisiveness. So when it’s time to choose the restaurant, be firm: “We’re going to the café down the street that has a low-carb menu.” It’s also okay to be decisive, yet considerate, every once in awhile: “We’re going to the restaurant that has salads and chicken-fried-steak as big as your head.” If he’s anything like the hamster — which I can’t officially confirm or deny its level of obedience — he’ll just jump on the wheel.

Call off the eating contest
We’d like to think we’re equal to men in every category. But when it comes to food, they’ve got us beat. Most guys can eat anything they want and, aside from a pesky beer belly, the food doesn’t stay with them. With us, we have to worry about the pesky
Thousands of restaurant chains would argue with me, but having dinner isn’t the only thing to do on a date.
beer belly and the pesky thighs, rear and the dreaded arm flab. The bottom line? You can’t eat what he eats. So when he devours eight slices of pizza, don’t rationalize it to the dieting gods by saying, “He had eight but I only had seven. Brazilian bikini, here I come!” If it makes you feel better, statistics show you’ll live longer. Plus, you can put on eyeliner, talk on your cell phone and drive at the same time.

Dinner, again?
Thousands of restaurant chains would argue with me, but having dinner isn’t the only thing to do on a date. Each time you and your man go out to eat, you turn into a vacation dieter: “I can an order an appetizer and the double-chocolate-fudge heart attack, I’m on vacation!” So instead of making dinner your old stand-by, create a date around something active, like rock climbing or riding bikes. Or for the not-so-outdoorsy, a Pilates video.

If you’re trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle, don’t be afraid to let your man know. And when I say this, I don’t mean that you should whine, “I’m so fat. Do you think my butt is bigger than J. Lo’s?” And if he joins in your plight for wellness, it could even help your cause. Just be prepared for a new suggestion at 2 a.m.: “How ’bout we hit the produce section for some fresh veggies?”


Elsa K. Simcik is a freelance writer in Atlanta. Her work has appeared in newspapers and magazines including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Dallas Morning News, Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine and CNN.com.
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