CAN YOU EAT OUT AND STILL LOSE WEIGHT?
Let’s be honest here. Most people would say yes you can eat out AND lose weight. I agree BUT I also think it depends a lot on the person. Why should one size fit all? Ideally we should eat in moderation and eat a balanced diet. Well I think we all know that, but sometimes that is easier said than done!
As we sift through most weight loss advice, you’ll find ALL of them say clean out your house of the junk food! Why? So it’s not a temptation! Should you never eat junk again? No! BUT when you’re trying to lose weight removing such temptations are a good idea! So why is going to a restaurant with a whole menu of temptation a good idea?? Hmm?
Guess what? We all love going out! We don’t have to cook, we don’t have to do dishes and we’re eating gorgeous food we don’t usually whip up at home! Clearly I’m not talking about fast food drive through places here but they count as well.
The truth is if you do eat a balanced diet and are at a healthy weight, going for a Big Mac now and then won’t hurt. But if you’re overweight and not happy with your weight AND you eat a Big Mac, what are you telling yourself? It leads to guilt and you feel crappy with yourself. So I suggest not to do it at all even though in ‘moderation’ it’s ok.
EAT OUT DON’T LOSE WEIGHT
If you go out because;
- You’re too tired
- You haven’t done the grocery shopping
- You got home late
- You just can’t be bothered cooking
My advice is don’t go out to dinner. You will probably be setting yourself up for failure. You are not in the right head space to make choices that will help you lose weight.
EAT OUT LOSE WEIGHT
If you go out to dinner because;
- You got invited for someones birthday
- It’s an anniversary
- You got asked out on a date
- You haven’t been out for dinner for 3 months
My advice would be definitely go as you’re more likely to be in a better head space. If you have a say in where you go, play to your strength and weaknesses when it comes to food choices.
PLAY TO YOUR STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES
DON’T choose the Lindt coffee shop if chocolate is a HUGE weakness for you!
DON’T choose an Indian restaurant, if you could eat nothing but cheese naan bread (like me)
DON’T choose that cute Italian place when creamy pasta and garlic bread is what got you overweight in the first place!
If I’m eating Indian, I’m not choosing the vegetarian options to limit calories. I want the beef vindaloo, with extra steamed rice AND the vegetarian entrée platter AND the cheese naan!
If the thought of going out and choosing the salad makes you blah, don’t go! If your first feeling is yippee, food food food! Maybe that should tell you something. It’s the mindset you have that should be the decider. If you haven’t quite mastered how to just have only 2 slices of toast in the morning I wouldn’t set myself up for failure.
BE KIND TO YOURSELF
Be kind to yourself. You wouldn’t try a 10k marathon if you couldn’t walk around the block! Balanced diet and eating in moderation isn’t how you got overweight but suddenly you are supposed to go out and eat moderately? Just think about that. Maybe try baby steps. If you always have cake when you go out for a coffee maybe try getting a take away coffee and meeting in the park?
Yes I know we are supposed to change how we look at things and view going out as normal and not treat food as the enemy etc. We’ve all heard it before. If you can go out and choose all the healthy options and not feel like shit the next day, that’s great! If not don’t feel bad for deciding not to go out. Decide what your strengths and weaknesses are surrounding food and work your life around that.
REAL LIFE EXAMPLES
I had 30 kilos to lose and I told my husband we weren’t going out for dinner until I had lost 10 kilos. It took about 3 months before we went out. And then I said, we aren’t going out till I lose ANOTHER 10 kilos. You get the picture. It definitely helped as we were going out a lot!
I had a friend who was very obese and got himself onto good habits and was losing lots of weight. He always declined social invitations because he knew he would fall off the wagon even if there were healthy options. Everyone thought he was being a snob but I applaud him for not caring what others thought. Rightly or wrongly this worked for him and it’s what he needed to do. So stop worrying about trying to ‘fit in’. If going out to dinner means you have to exercise extra will power and feel like crap if you don’t succeed, then choose not to go. Pick the easier path (in terms of will power). As time goes on you’ll get more confident. In the meantime do what is going to HELP your weight loss journey, not ruin it.
You are more likely to be successful in your weight loss journey if you play to your strengths and weaknesses. Don’t feel guilty because you find it difficult to choose the salad over the creamy pasta! I believe with practise (like everything else in this world) you can master anything. So master the healthy habits at home first, where there should be little temptation and then graduate to all those yummy restaurants!
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