Dating can be tough, especially in the early phases. You’re not really sure what’s happening, you’re kinda into them, they’re into you, but neither wants to come off strong.
It requires more thinking and timing that you’d guess at first. But let’s throw in dieting, and see how this all works out. We’ll be covering this topic from a ‘first few dates’ angle for the most part.
We’ve been there, and we’ll tell you how we survived.
So how can you keep your diet while dating ?
Well, this first thing to know is that transparency is the most important thing here. Despite not wanting to share everything with your newest possible squeeze, this is something that must be talked about, early on. Possibly second date, if not the first.
Both of you need to be clear about things that may impact your dates. A diet, or heavy work schedule, or even a small child are all elements that can completely change the kind of dates you go on.
Aside from that, respecting your new partner is a must. You’re on a diet, not them. So don’t enforce the diet on both of you, or look funny at your partner when they order a donut.
Those are the main principles, now let’s get more specific. We’ve brought you 7 things to keep in mind when you’re dating on a diet.
1. You need to talk to yourself first
Dieting can be pretty tough, depending on the diet you’re on. But generally you wouldn’t be eating heavy carbs, the majority of sweets on the market, would be avoiding soda., and would be friendly with salads.
These are all things that are readily available in date scenarios. Dinner and a movie can bring you in front of a pizza; or if you ate sensibly for dinner then it’s important to resist the popcorn and candy at the movie as well.
That’s just one example, but the point is the same. You chose this diet, and so you chose to lose weight and become the best version of yourself.
That’s amazing, and you deserve all the encouragement. Go you !
But be reasonable and honest with yourself. Would certain types of dates be too much for you ? Would dining out be too much of a temptation ? Would your date stopping for ice cream kick your diet ? Would you split a sundae with your date for the romance ?
Seriously, you need to know what you can do on a date, before you even talk to your partner about it. Because that’s the next part. And you need to know what you’re ok and not ok doing, in regards to your diet.
Also, setting some boundaries or limits for yourself might be a good idea, if you know your discipline is a bit wonky. For example get only one sweet thing the entire night, and that’s an option between fro-yo and a fresh fruit juice.
2. Talk to your date
They might be aware that you’re dieting. They most probably aren’t. So they can’t know that suggesting a date at the ice cream parlor and they the amusement park with all the snacks, might be bad.
So you need to talk to them, lay it out as simply as possible. You’re on this diet, and you’ll explain the general rules of your diet. Like maybe you can only eat fish, and that’s only until 3 pm.
We don’t know your diet. But it surely has some guidelines, and some restrictions. Make sure your date is aware of them. When the possibility of the next date comes up, suggest an activity or place that you can do.
Don’t expect your date to immediately know what dates suit you best, since it might not be very obvious at first.
Also keep in mind that whatever you suggest also has to be alright with them as well.
What if you suggest a date at a yoga class and then going for some salad in this delicious new place you just found ? They might like the idea, they might not.
Discuss these things, and what you’d generally like to do for activities together. Be aware that your date might not be very open at first, so take it slowly if you have to.
Whatever you do, don’t go on about your diet for half and hour and list all the foods you can’t eat. Be short, and simple, then resume some social chit chat.
3. Go on active dates
When it comes time to suggest a new date, suggest an activity that keeps you both moving. Maybe ice skating, or rollerblading, or hiking.
Hiking is great actually, since it gives you both the time to relax, and gets you away from the busy day to day life. You can both pack some food, and not have to worry about what you’ll eat. You can even bring your own salad! Who’s going to judge you ?
Another option is swimming, since it’s an amazing cardio workout. Partly because it’s so fun and it keeps you both moving for hours, and partly because it’s a full body workout.
If you’re on a beachy area, then all the better ! Swimming at the beach is different from a pool, and is more of a workout anyway. Even just floating with a pool noodle works your abs, so you’ll have your exercise as well.
Dancing is another option, especially if you’re going for a latino-type dance. They’re among the best cardios around, and learning a new dance together brings you both to similar brain waves. No, really, synchronised dancing does that, so your date will go pretty good !
If you’re just dancing in a club, please be careful with the drinks. All the calories you burn dancing will be wasted if you’re going to quench your thirst with vodka cranberry. Unfortunately, this is a time when some simple cocktail would be best.
Like a gin tonic, mimosa, or a mojito(no sugar), or even just plain water. More boring options, we know. But a diet is a diet.
The whole point of going on active dates is that you’re distracted from food options. And an added bonus is that you’re burning some calories as well !
4. Eat separately
When you do go out to eat, or even just stop for a quick bite, an option would be to eat separately. As in, don’t share a dish or plate if your partner’s not on a diet as well.
We mean, if your date is supportive and actually wants to show that support by eating the same meal as you, then great ! Don’t expect it, but be very happy about it since it’s a great sign.
However, most of the time it doesn’t happen like that, and you’ll have to have your own dish. Even if it’s just a taco with just veggies and a bit of sauce. It probably won’t be the same as you date’s taco, and that’s alright.
If you’re on the street and there’s a lot of street food options, you make sure to stay away from them. Maybe your date wants some gyros with all the sauces. Fine, that’s their problem. You need to stay away from all that.
If there’s a reasonable option, with less sauce, more veggies, and something that does fall into line with your diet, then great ! You can each have your own food.
5. Suggest eateries you’re ok with
Like places that you know have some options that are ok with your diet. Often times, those places will also have many vegan/vegetarian options, and you can choose those as well if they ft into your diet nicely.
A small tip from us, the vegan dishes are usually the most appropriate for a diet. This is because most of the time they’re also lower in calories, with no meat or dairy.
For example, asian restaurants have some great alternatives to everything. Whether you go for indian, chinese, thai, or another cuisine we missed here, they all have great skill with vegetables.
For example a very filling, and very good soup we had was creamed lentil with some lemon, from an indian place. If that’s your dinner, you’re probably still respecting your diet.
Another great option is going for all-veggie lo mein, or some miso soup. There are many options to choose from, and they’re all delicious.
Or, to mix things up a bit, offer to cook. Invite your date over for dinner, and then you’ll be completely in charge of the menu.
You can make something what is alright for your diet, and can be tweaked a bit for your date as well. It’s a small tweak, but your date will notice and appreciate the effort.
There’s another benefit to cooking for your date as well. There’s no denying the romance in the room when your date is dining on something you’ve prepared, with your own two hands, just for them.
It will capture many hearts, and men are famous for being impressed by this.
Yet another bonus, if you’d like to make cooking more interactive, is to bring your partner into the kitchen. Cooking together, communicating properly, and actually not cutting your fingers off is a feat of its own, and a great memory to have for a date.
6. Keep your drinks simple
Whatever you do end up drinking, make sure it’s something simple. The cocktails we suggested earlier are alright, since they’re lower in calories. Especially if it’s something mixed with sparkling water or tonic water, the calories get cut down.
Another thing to remember, if you’re going out for coffee, stick with black. Even if it’s your first date, and you don’t want to seem like the place doesn’t have good enough coffee for you. Get black coffee, and stay away from the syrups, the caramel, the latte and heavy cream.
Same goes with soda. Best to get yourselves some fresh brewed tea, where you can control the sugar content.
Actually this could be a great date idea. There are tea houses where you can just lounge and relax together, sip some very good tea, and just enjoy each other’s company.
This is actually where Dragos and I had our first proper date. We went out for tea, I had tea, he ordered some wine. We lost track of time for so many hours, and when we walked away it was one of the best dates either of us had.
So give it a go, find yourselves a cozy place that serves some great tea or coffee, and watch people go by on the street. If it’s snowing then it’s instantly magical.
7. Respect you partner
Even if it’s last on our list, this is just as important as respecting yourself.
You’re the one on a diet, not your date. So don’t force diet food on them, or look at them funny when they get a donut. They have the right to do whatever they think is alright. Even if it means donuts and milkshakes. We don’t condone them, but this is not the article for that.
Of course your date might think at first that they shouldn’t offend you somehow, and try to respect your diet as well. But they don’t have to eat like you.
If they do, then that’s great. It shows they have a higher degree of empathy and can be very supportive. But if they don’t you can’t be angry at them. They’re their own person, and they don’t owe you much.
This is especially true in the initial stages of dating. When in the first few dates you’re not completely attached to that new person, and so you can still have your own habits.
After the relationship becomes serious, and especially after moving in, many things are shared. But you’re not there yet.
Best to remember that you are both adults, and you can both do whatever you want, as long as you’re reasonable and no one gets hurt. So your date having that cookie while you just have… well, nothing, is alright.
Think of this as a test of your will to lose weight and stick to your diet. Can you keep your diet even after kissing your date ? Yes, even after they ate a donut ? Really ? Then you’ll do just fine then.
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Differences between first dates, and long-term relationships
Things change when you’re in a long term relationship. Pretty much everything that we just said in the first 7 points apply as well, if you’ve been in a relationship for a while now.
But when you’re already moved in, sharing a fridge, and having dinner together pretty much every night, some things will be different.
If just one of you is on a diet, then there will be some expectation that one partner support the other one. If the partner who’s on a diet is also the one cooking, then it might be too hard for them.
Cook separately, for each other, or find dishes that can be modified according to the diet. You don’t have to both eat the same meal, if one’s on a diet.
It will help your partner’s progress, but it’s not mandatory. And your partner should know that as well. You’re sharing food, house, and bills. But you’re still your own person.
Another thing that’s a bit different is that the ”I’m on a diet” talk will be much easier. You know your S.O. we enough, and you know how to open that conversation.
Your partner might even be more supportive, since it’s something they get to see every day, unlike the ‘first dates’ stage where they only see you every few days or weeks.
Whatever the case, your diet does impact your dating life. But that doesn’t mean you’re cut off from the dating pool. You just need to be more selective with the types of dates you go on, and also whether you want to cheat on your diet or not.
We recommend not cheating on the diet, since all it does is teach your brain that it’s ok to not be disciplined. You’d only be making it harder for yourself.
Good luck with your diet, and have fun on your date !
Be sure to check our other articles as well, you might like them.