Today I am writing about how to eat out without wrecking your progress. How many of you are very afraid of eating out? Or for how many of you does the tough of eating out provide you with a sense of anxiety? A sense of dread? On the other hand is it a sense of well, ‘this is just going to be my cheat meal so I’m going to have whatever I want, and then I’m going to get back onto my healthy eating regimen;? However you view it. It can be very worrying for people who are looking to lose weight, that they feel that eating out is such an unhealthy activity that they can’t fully enjoy, because of the fact they’re trying to lose weight.
This again comes down to the restrictive mindset, which we looked at last week, where foods are good or bad. We have this sense of anxiety or a sense of dread or even a sense of fear, over eating out, which we shouldn’t really have. Now, the thing with eating out is that it can be quite hard to moderate your calorie intake with restaurant meals. I think the average in the UK restaurant meal lists is around 900 to 1000 calories, which is a lot for single meal. If you’re a smaller woman of around 50 to 60 kilos, then that is going to be most of your daily intake right there in that one meal. So it can be very difficult for you to think, ‘if I’m trying to implement a calorie deficit, how do I go about with eating a meal out?’
When I have clients who want to eat meals out, because that’s part of life and part of living. I do have some ‘go to’ strategies which I help them employ; The first step that we can think about is using intermittent fasting, intermittent fasting is where we don’t eat for a period of time, or we close our eating window down, to a certain hours of the day. For example, if you’re thinking about eating out for your evening meal, the simplest way to think about it would be to skip breakfast, and or lunch in order to have a higher calorie meal later. Now I know a lot of you are thinking, Oh, you shouldn’t skip meals that’s not going to be good for you, you’re going to run out of energy or blah blah blah. The thing is is that you can get by pretty well without food for an extended period of time, not water, but definitely without food. So, what I would say is that if you haven’t tried this in the past, I would give it a go. Because I think you’d be surprised at how well you would do without food from a mental and physical standpoint, especially if you’re not training. Hunger is one of those things that comes in waves, so you can experience a bout of hunger in the morning, ride that wave through and come out the other side, feeling absolutely fine. So intermittent fasting is definitely one way, skip the meals, save the calories, have them for dinner that night to eat out.
However if you’re eating out on a regular basis then intermittent fasting may not be an option, you may have to eat out regularly with work, because you’re away travelling for most of the week, entertaining clients, that kind of thing. You might need breakfast and lunch during the day in these situations or you might prefer them. If that is the case and this isn’t a sort of once a week type of affair where you want to have three courses and that kind of thing. Something that you could use is carb/fat separation. Now what I mean by this is you’re going to choose a main meal, that is either higher carb and low fat or higher fat and low carb. For example, this could be a tomato based pasta, making sure that the tomato sauce isn’t creamy, or it could be having something like a steak with vegetables or a salmon with vegetables, rather than having a carbohydrate side dish. So you’re basically lowering your calories, by making sure that either carbohydrates or fats aren’t present in the meal. Next, we can think about choosing meals, ahead of time.
If you are calorie counting at the time and you’re being calorie aware, then choosing your main meal earlier in the day when you’re going out to eat allows you to then build the rest of your day around it.
The last tip that I would give my clients would be to think about having basically protein and vegetables only in every other meal of the day, so for breakfast maybe mixed vegetables and eggs. Think about having purely protein and vegetables for lunch, something like a very lean meat or fish with again, a big plate of mixed vegetables so you’re still getting a lot of food volume in, you’re still getting a lot of protein in, but you’re keeping the calories far lower in order to save for that evening meal. At least this way, you don’t get into the habit of having epic cheat meals which can happen a lot of the time when people say that they’re just going to have a cheat in the evening. It also means that you’re adjusting your day around the evening meal, you’re still being calorie aware, and you’ll have a better chance of implementing a calorie deficit across that day as well. Rather than going into a surplus and affecting the other days in a deficit which you may have been in.