Diet-to-Go Blog
  1. How to Diet in the REAL WORLD


    On paper, sustaining a healthy diet and approach to eating is logical and easy. In the REAL WORLD? Not so much! No matter how strong our resolve, most of us are eventually challenged by travel, parties, snack cravings, eating out and more. With all that life throws your way, you might start to think it's impossible to stick to your goals, but with these tips, it can be easier than you think.

    Your Calorie Budget*

    Whether it's snacks, party food, or restaurant fare, before we can talk about eating off plan, you'll need to understand your calorie budget. My what?!

    What Is Your Calorie Budget?

    Your calorie budget is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a recommendation for how many calories to eat in order to meet your goals.

    Do you know your calorie budget?

    Don't know your calorie budget? Most of us don't, but it's of critical importance when trying to lose weight. We find it is helpful to use tools available, like Lifesum, to determine how many calories you should be eating per day. Just follow the set-up instructions. For several weeks/months (and from time to time when you need to get back on track), you'll want to log all your calorie intake into the app. Include all Diet-to-Go meals and any other snacks and drinks you consume. Using the app, you can monitor your calories. 

    Learn More:

    Increasing Your Calorie Budget through Exercise 

    * If you're on our Keto-Carb30 Plan, you don't have a calorie budget! But our other tips still apply! Click here for the Carb 30 Rules.

    Q/A - Tips for Mealtime, Snack Time, PARTY time, and Even Eating Out!

    Now that you understand your calorie budget it's time to answer some important questions.

    How do I use my calorie budget to eat snacks?

    The calorie surplus that remains from your calorie budget after the total of all your Diet-to-Go meals is what you can use for snacks (and drinks). The key is to plan ahead. Be careful to calculate this number BEFORE you eat your snacks, to be sure you have as much left over as you thought.

    You may not actually have a calorie surplus. I know this sounds like a challenge, but if your calorie budget does not allow for much snacking, we suggest reserving a fruit cup from a lunch meal, or saving other meal sides to enjoy at a later time. And always choose water to accompany your meals. If you feel like you are about to reach for a snack that would break your budget or that doesn’t support your goals, try sugarless gum, one pickle spear, or ½ cup cucumbers instead. These snacks have 10 calories or fewer but can still satisfy you until your next meal.

    Want some ideas on other great snack choices? We’ve created a whole guide to snacking and you can read it here.

    What about parties and other temptations?

    Plan ahead! If you are attending a party where there will be food, eat your Diet-to-Go meal ahead of time and enjoy socializing at the party instead of overindulging. Or try a scientifically proven trick – tell yourself you can have {insert tempting item name here} anytime you want, just not today. According to research the mental postponement of treats actually helps stave off your internal battles!


    What if I have to eat off Plan?  

    If you have to eat off plan (this includes restaurant dining), mimic our portion sizes and emulate the food on your Diet-to-Go Menu. Lean proteins, veggies and items baked (not fried) will be some of your best choices. Avoid heavy sauces, cheeses, and sweets.

    Remember that while salads tend to seem like a healthy restaurant choice, be careful of those loaded with toppings like dried fruit, taco chips, croutons, or cheese. And remember that restaurant salad dressings can often sneak hundreds of extra calories (and sugars) into your meal. Many times a baked chicken or fish meal is a much better option.

    Have more questions? Or need help customizing your plan for your daily life? 

    Give us a call! 800-743-SLIM (7546), Option 2


    Author: Chrissy Doremus

    Chrissy is a Diet-to-Go editor and contributor. She is enthusiastically raising a whole-food-loving family in the suburbs of NYC with her husband, where her guilty pleasures include Pinterest and half-baked brownies (preferably together). When it comes to fitness, she simply likes to move often and lift heavy things, but has been known to stop mid-workout to pop into a Zumba class when she hears her favorite song - because healthy living should be FUN!


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