Saturday, March 12, 2011

Thoughtful: To Eat Out or Not to Eat Out

This seems to be one of the more difficult things for people who are trying to eat healthy. I thought I would just give my thoughts on it a bit. (A bit? Who am I kidding? I could go on forever and ever and ever..)

I don't think there is anything wrong with eating out occasionally. What is 'occasionally' you ask? Well, to me that would be maybe 1 dinner out and maybe 1 lunch out a week, at the most. Not only will you save calories, but you will also save so much money!

I know for some people their strategy is to eat less on the day that they are planning to go out for dinner, etc. And for some people that works. However, I am definitely not one of them. I get hungry every 3-4 hours like clockwork. So, if I were to go all day without eating much, then that night at dinner I would be STARVING and devour everything in sight. Then I would essentially be eating way more calories than I would normally. 

So what is my strategy? I don't really have one, per se. If I know that I am going to be going to dinner at night, then I eat pretty normally, starting out with breakfast. I ALWAYS eat breakfast. I never, ever, ever skip it; and you shouldn't either! It is definitely the most important meal and preferably the biggest. For me, I usually have ~300-400 calories for breakfast and I try to make it protein dense (eggs, etc.). Then for lunch I would have a typical size (~300 calories) and then a small snack in the afternoon (~100-200 calories), depending on how active I have been that day. 

But, the best 'tip', I think, is to actually eat the small snack an hour or so before going to dinner and drink plenty of fluids. This way when you get there you won't try to eat an entire basket of bread/rolls like a crazy starving person. 

Other tips? (most of these are going to be obvious, but hey, it may not be that way for everyone!)

-Order water; Don't like water? Try adding a lemon or a lime; If not, then do unsweetened tea
-Order the salad dressing on the side. Dip the FORK into the dressing, not the salad :)
-Avoid or limit white bread, pasta, etc.
-Avoid 'white,' 'creamy,' 'cheesy,' etc. sauces
-Eat half the entree and put the other half in the to-go box BEFORE you start eating
-Don't eat your significant-other's fries...

-Most restaurants have their nutrition information online. Google the restaurant before leaving, look at their menu and nutrition and choose your meal based off of this
-Above all else, LISTEN to your body. It will tell you when it is 'full,' but try not to get to this point. Try to be 3/4 full, not completely full.

These are just things that I have found helpful over time. I wouldn't suggest trying all of these at once if it's drastically different than what you are used to. Small changes over time would be better :)

If you have any questions or tips you want to share, please let me know in the comments!


  1. The last picture should have a label of Ben and Lily!! That should be their slogan!

  2. Hahaha! For real! Lily literally tried to take my dinner out of my hand tonight! I said, 'NO MA'AM! Who do you think you are?!' LOL