I'm talking about eating out people. Can you eat out and still live a healthy lifestyle... and more to the point can you lose weight doing it? I think trying to stick to a healthy caloric intake and eating at a restaurant is like being a recovering alcoholic at a bar. Could the alcoholic just order a club soda? Yes... but after a bad day or under just the wrong circumstances they would be setting themselves up for failure. We can all see that.... but when it comes to eating out there seems to be a brain block. We all like eating out. Who doesn't? You don't have to cook and even better you don't have to clean up after yourself. We used to like to eat out too. But when I started dieting last year that was the FIRST thing to go... because as much as I like taking a load off... I believe it is too hard to lose weight while doing so. It just takes a quick look at your local restaurants nutritional information to give you a good smack in the face. I think you have to decide what you really want and if you want to lose weight you might have to give up being waited on. Now that doesn't mean I don't think you can go out every once in a while, but if you are eating out a few times a week than I think that is something you need to think about changing.
For all of you who feel you just cannot give it up here are my restaurant tips:
If possible look up the nutritional information BEFORE you go. If you know how many calories are in your favorite dish it might be easier to pass it up... and you should decide what you will order and stick to it.
If you can't find the nutritional info then you can take one of two strategies:
#1 When possible split your meal with your spouse/friend/child
#2 When ordering your meal ask for an extra plate (or a box) and IMMEDIATELY divide your meal into two... get the extra plate boxed up when you go.
#3 Order an appetizer for your meal. Trust me this is going to be pushing the 300-500 calories most dieters have allotted for dinner.
#4 Ask the waiter NOT to bring the bread/chips/crackers and if you are drinking a drink with calories (gasp) ask them not to bring you refills.
#5 ALWAYS get your dressing on the side and dip your fork into your dressing instead of pouring it on.
Now I didn't make it 10 months without going out to eat or getting takeout. I prefer to order take out since it is much easier to call and place an order for a healthy choice then to resist temptations when you are sitting there looking at them and smelling them! We had 4 takeout options that I felt really good about and enjoyed what I could get in my calorie range. That worked for me on the days that I didn't want to cook... but even that I have kept to 1 or 2 times a week.