Today, my business partner and I went to lunch with a prospective client at a Chinese restaurant. I love Chinese food, but it is full of carbs and foods that I’m no longer willing to incorporate into my diet, so this presented a challenge. Rather than calling attention to my dietary needs in the face of a prospective client who moments before told us that he loved Chinese food, I rolled with it.
I decided to have the Mongolian Beef as it had beef, onions, shallots, green onion, and a “brown sauce.” The brown sauce likely had sugar and starch in it, but I figured it was the least bad food there for me. I didn’t touch the rice or the fortune cookie (THAT WAS HARD!) so I wasn’t as bad as I could have been, but the point is this: sometimes you can’t avoid having to eat foods that are not 100% compliant with your eating plan. Sometimes, you just have to eat what is put in front of you. If at all possible, you can minimize the impact by either eating less of it or selecting parts of the meal that are compliant or close to being compliant, but all of these can be done on the sly and without calling attention to your dietary needs.
At one point, the prospective client asked why I didn’t order the lunch plate which included rice, egg roll, soup, and the main course to which I replied that I only wanted the main course. That satisfied his curiosity without going into why I’m eating what I eat. I have found that most people really don’t care about my dietary needs or don’t want to hear about my weight loss, etc. It’s easier to just say, “I prefer this over that.”
It’s easy to be scared of social situations at which food is the center of attention, but by sticking to some simple answers, navigating these events can be far less stressful than we build them up to be with the bonus of not destroying your progress or your willpower to stick with it.