Okay, so maybe I'm being a little overly-hyperbolic calling getting a few too many calories in a day a catastrophe...but these things can add up. Anyway, I had lunch with a colleague and a former colleague yesterday. To prepare for this, I planned my entire day and entered it into MyFitnessPal. I knew what I was going to eat for breakfast and for dinner and my morning snack, and I knew what exercise I was getting. After I entered all my information, I could see that I had 900 calories left for lunch and other snacks.
Prior to going out to lunch, I looked at the menus for our first choice and second choice of restaurants (if one was too busy, we were going to go to the other one to avoid a long wait over our lunch hour). I chose what I would order in each restaurant, so that I had a plan no matter where we went. My lunch would end up totaling 600 - 800 calories. This was more than I usually have for lunch, but given how I structured my day knowing that I needed to make room for lunch, it worked nicely. Ultimately, lunch was 650 calories. Not bad. This left me an additional 250 with which to play for snacks - and 250 can go a long way with fruits and veggies. I spaced out my snacks and my dinner for the remainder of the day and finished with about 100 calories left in my budget at the end of the day. (I ate about 1600 calories total and did 500 calories of exercise - so my net calories were 1100 / 1200 in my budget)
I have to say it again, planning is very important to weight loss and weight management. It allows me to have days where I go out to the restaurant with friends and colleagues without overdoing the calories and without going hungry for the rest of the day. It takes some practice to develop the habit - but in my opinion, it is just as important as diet and exercise.