We all get asked out to eat. As much as I love to mingle and be around my close ones, I often have to pass. Eating out can be a huge trap!
Some of you may have more self control in these situations but hey, we’re all different! Food to me brings happiness and a feeling of comfort which I think is a reflection from my childhood. For me, food means family. We always spent time with each other enjoying good food and laughter! Growing up this way has made making the right food choices very difficult. From time to time, I still find myself struggling with self control.
No matter how great you’ve been doing with your food and fitness plan, this doesn’t mean you get a free pass to go out more.
Eating out will only set you up to fail if you do not plan it into your regular routine. If I’m asked out to eat or invited to a get together, I try to be more aware of my diet on the days leading up to it. This helps keep me balanced just in case I do fall into the tempting indulgences.
Let’s face it, we all think we can handle being confronted with food challenges but that’s not always true. Below I’ve listed the main reasons why going out to eat is keeping you from your goals and keeping you overweight.
1.) You’re going out to eat starving.
Doing this will result in poor choices. If you ever go to Carrabbas, you know what I’m talking about! Those endless warm baskets of the most addicting bread I’ve ever tasted! Eating on an empty stomach can easily lead to overeating. When you eat in this state, you’re consuming your food much faster as well as taking bigger bites than normal. Bigger bites lead to more food which leads to even more calories!
2.) Eating off of larger plates.
Bigger plates will trick your brain and get your portion control all out of whack. Eating off of larger plates provided at restaurants will make you think your portions are much larger than they actually are.
One study found that when given an option, a whopping 98.6 percent of obese individuals opt for larger plates.
*Try this trick of mine. When you’re out to eat, ask for a to go box half way through your meal. When you receive your box, you can package up what’s left and give yourself time to realize you’re full.
3.) Ordering healthier options that aren’t so healthy.
Do you ever wonder why your side of broccoli tastes way more amazing than your boring broccoli sitting at home? That’s because your restaurant veggies are drenched in butter. Be careful when ordering sides and entrees and that you specify to the waiter your alterations. For example, when ordering at a restaurant, I make sure my veggies can be prepared without butter, my dressing will be served on the side, and my chicken or sweet potato fries can be baked, not fried! These little things go a long way ya’ll! Allow yourself to stay in control! Your salad may be healthy but all that sugary dressing, blue cheese crumbles and bacon on top is not. Even something healthy like walnuts can add up to almost 200 additional calories!
4.) You’re picking off your partner.
Don’t rationalize this out as being okay because you ordered a salad or simple order of grilled chicken and veggies because it’s not. Even a small order of Outback cheese fries yields almost 1200 calories. Splitting that between two people doesn’t help much either! You’ll fill up on nibbling from their plate and find yourself going home with a box health conscious food that was hardly touched.
*A study in the journal Obesity found that when food is served from the dinner table, people consume 35 percent more over the course of the meal. When an additional helping requires leaving the table, people hesitate to go back for more.
5.) You aren’t drinking enough water.
Before your meal comes, if you aren’t snacking on bread or rolls, you’re talking. The more talking means the less water drinking. Filling up on water before your food comes will allow you to feel full faster and avoid overeating. There is less room for food if you’re full off of water!
*University of Utah study, dieting participants who were instructed to drink two cups of water before each meal lost 30 percent more weight than their thirsty peers.
The verdict, I discourage eating out all together if you’re in the beginning of your fitness journey. You can’t afford to cheat or get off track during this phase. Down the you will become more familiar with your weaknesses and struggles when it comes to food. This will allow you to be more conscious and make healthier decisions while eating out.
What do I recommend? Ditch dining out and come up with alternative ways to spend time with your friends and family. Better yet!- Host a dinner at your place with healthy options for everyone!
*italicized information sourced from prevention.com