24 Feb

I went out with my work colleagues last week – we went to a Harvester. Now I’m not a fan of mass produced, chain restaurants, I find the food predictable and just a bit boring.

However I was pleasantly surprised to find the menu full of calorie information. You can could easily see how you could build up the count to way over your recommended daily allowance if you weren’t careful! The 430 calories for ‘seasoned fries’ were downright scary!

It was also good to see that online, they give a lot of guidance on food allergies – including gluten and dairy which always cause issues when you’re not cooking yourself.

It does though bring it home just how much you can eat when you’re out, without knowing it, all the extras can take you way above what you probably think you’re consuming. Add in a coke or a beer and you’re in big trouble!

Whilst all this is great as a treat, if you do this a couple of times a week, without any exercise or being careful about what else you eat then you are going to put on weight.
I try to have an idea of nutrition, so when I’m eating out I can make informed choices. I do though get annoyed at portions that are way too big. When you’re brought up that it’s good manners to clear your plate or ‘eat as much as you want’ means pile it high, then your head will rule your stomach and you will eat your way through far more than you actually need.

I took the option in the Harvester to go for the boiled potatoes, however EIGHT of them was a bit overkill and for that amount I would have disputed the calories stated!   And beware the salad bar, just because it’s on the salad bar, doesn’t mean it’s healthy, by the time you’ve piled it high, added dressings and some croutons!

Beware of this, you’ll need to know when you’re full, if you’re not sure, when you’re half way through a plate, stop, put down your cutlery and let your stomach work out what’s going on, I can guarantee that you will start to feel full. If you are STOP eating.  Put your napkin over your food or make it clear to the waitress that you’re done.

And if the waitress says ‘was there something wrong with it?’ because you’ve left some, tell her the portions were just too much. I always wonder why women are always expected to consume the same portion sizes as men??   And the amount of wasted food is sad and something I’d also like considered.

I know it’s not easy but willpower is very important, it doesn’t mean you can’t have the nice things, you can, just not tons of it!  Over time it becomes easier to know what your limit is.

When it comes to a pudding, don’t feel its wrong to order one with a friend and have two spoons. It’s about a little of something fabulous not so much that you end up with that feeling of being ‘stuffed’.

By following these simple things, you can still eat out while you’re aiming to lose weight or determined to keep it off.

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