As many actively dating New Yorkers can attest, the scene here is full of fancy dinners and drinks—and some accompanying dreaded weight gain.
That’s probably true in many cities: Singles looking for love, as well as those in relationships, often fall into the trap of choosing dates that are not the healthiest. The truth is, your social calendar and dating life need not suffer while on a weight loss plan. You do not need to sacrifice one for the other.
And, yet, this is one of the most common complaints I hear from my clients. How can they go out and have fun, but stay on track?
I put my money where my mouth is and went on three healthy first dates in three days:
I met my first—and favorite—date through the Bumble app. After messaging briefly, my match suggested spending an afternoon in Central Park. We met further uptown on the West Side, where the park isn’t as crowded. Aware of my health-consciousness, he had cooked and prepared a healthy picnic. We had beautiful salads with grilled shrimp, fresh tropical fruit and cashews. We each brought our baseball gloves and played catch and got to know each other over a nutritious feast. This was such a pleasurable afternoon and a great way to get to know someone or spend quality time with a loved one. If playing catch—or sports, in general—isn’t your thing, a picnic in the park is still a fun idea. You can fish, bring cards or just go for a walk or bike ride and enjoy the scenery.
“Relationships and casual dates don’t have to equal expanding waistlines.”
My second plan, the following night, was a blind date in a group setting. My friend and her boyfriend were hosting a game night at their apartment. Luckily, my friend is a fitness buff herself, so there were lots of healthy snack options laid out. She had vegetable and fruit trays, raw nut mix, chicken breast kabobs and homemade zucchini and kale chips. I was in heaven. This is a fantastic plan for a group date night or a double date. My stomach was still sore the next day from laughing. One way to ensure that there are healthy snack options in a situation like this is, of course, to bring them yourself. It’s the polite thing to do for your host anyway. Always be prepared.
My third and final date in this healthy experiment was with a man I actually met the previous week while riding the subway. Yup! It apparently is still possible to meet someone organically in Manhattan. After chatting, we decided to meet at a popular Ping-Pong bar. I would definitely do this on a date again. It’s a great icebreaker and an entertaining way to spend a night. If your city doesn't have a Ping-Pong bar, then you can try bowling, pool or even an arcade. That way, even if you and your date don't have chemistry or much in common, you can still have fun together. Plus, you’re getting exercise!
Think beyond dinners at restaurants and drinks at bars and get creative. Relationships and casual dates don’t have to equal expanding waistlines.