Eating out!

20 Jan

I get asked a lot about how you can handle eating out when you’re trying to eat less and better. There are general rules you can follow:

  • You don’t have to eat everything on the plate – ask if you can have a smaller portion, some places will do it if you ask.  If I go out for a roast I will ask for less potatoes for example, a carvery is good and bad, just change your mindset, just because it’s all there doesn’t mean you have to eat it all, use the opportunity to test your control!  Fill up on veg and the meat rather than the potatoes, onion rings, yorkshire puddings etc, you’re not not having them – just less!
  • Don’t treat it like a competition – at the ‘eat all you can’ chinese buffets, do you like feeling full or do you always regret it and spend the next day feeling pretty rubbish mentally and physically, was it worth it?  You could still have enjoyed your favourites, just less of them. I always visualise the size of my stomach and the stretching I may put it through.
  • Is it worth it just to over-eat? I always think as well that if I can control what I eat when I’m out, I will always be able to do it, if I can’t then eating out may have to stop or I risk my weight creeping up and I’ll be facing my old life again?
  • If it looks bad for you then it probably is. Pizzas dripping with melted cheese or the donor kebab, bit of shocking  information here, according to Hampshire County Council Scientific Service, the average kebab contains the equivalent of a wine glass full of cooking fat, and that’s on top of the salt content, the fact that the meat is coated with sugar and just as a final thing, there isn’t any good meat in it at all so the protein is almost non-existent!
Döner kebab

Image via Wikipedia

On a slight aside here, it won’t matter what else you do to try to lose weight, if your diet contains only ‘bad, fatty, salt heavy’ foods and no fruit, veg, lean meat and the essential minerals and vitamins our bodies need then you will really struggle.  It will also make exercising more difficult and less effective, you could be doing an awful lot of very little effect. It is always going to be necessary to massively cut down on these.   There isn’t any other way, even all the exercise in the world isn’t going to compensate for a poor diet I’m afraid, it is still going to lead to major health problems like diabetes, liver and heart disease. You may only see the obvious fat on your body but the fat that may be sitting around your internal organs is the real killer and the longer it’s there, the worse it is, so if you’re young and over weight act as soon as you can. The good news is that you can turn it around, it is possible to reduce it massively and with it your long-term health risks.

There’s an interesting article in the Daily Mail today showing the extremes of meals available when you eat out in the UK, in addition to the places mentioned, pubs are really bad at serving way too big portions which just increases the calorie intake and just because a meal is ‘home cooked’ doesn’t mean it’s going to be good for you.

So when you’re eating out, enjoy it but apply the same rules, eat less and better.  Take control over your food, I can guarantee you’ll begin to enjoy it more if you don’t always walk out feeling ‘stuffed’ and the rewards are fantastic.

If you’re struggling get some advice on what a good diet should look like, there is lots of information on the web, together with forums where you can ask questions and get support.  Watch out soon for a view on the different ‘diet’ plans out there, some are good, some indifferent and some pretty useless, I’ll try to look at them objectively and with some commonsense.

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