The Enemy of Weight Loss

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Going out for a meal used to be something which happened only on special occasions but these days it’s often a several-times-a week occurrence simply because we are too tired to cook.

If eating out is a regular event for you, avoid the temptation to treat it like an invitation to over-indulge. This is part of your regular eating pattern so you need to treat it as such. Eat only as much as you need and no more.

Occasional overeating does no harm but any level of regular overeating is bound to result in you piling on the pounds.

Having said that, you CAN eat healthily in restaurants, so if you eat out a lot, don’t despair. Just plan your trip with care and set a firm intention to eat healthily before you go.

Bear in mind that the cheapest restaurant options are normally the most unhealthy. Fast food and lower end restaurants are not noted for their use of low-fat or low-calorie cooking methods or foods. So choose your restaurant with care, somewhere that you know offers a selection of healthier dishes or will prepare foods specially for you on request.

If you have to wait for your meal at the bar, avoid alcoholic drinks which can increase your appetite and lower your resolve, not to mention the empty calories they contain. Avoid fizzy drinks with your meal and ask for water instead. If you drink wine with dinner, a small glass when you go out shouldn’t do too much harm in terms of calories.

Restaurants often serve huge amounts and if you know you have a tendency to clean your plate no matter how much is on it, order a small portion or a starter in place of a main course. You can even share a dish with your dinner companion. If you’re in the US you can request a doggie bag – but don’t try this one in Europe unless you want some very strange looks.

Avoid fried foods and those which are served in creamy or buttery sauces. Wherever possible go for plain grilled (broiled) chicken or fish and ask for any sauce to be served on the side. The same goes for salad where the dressing can turn a healthy dish into a dieter’s nightmare.

Forget dessert too if you are trying to lose weight. You just don’t need 300 or more extra calories on top of everything you’ve already eaten.

If you choose an ethnic restaurant take the time before your visit to understand the various cooking methods and ingredients in typical dishes and if you’re in doubt about a particular item on the menu ask the waiter for information.

Above all, don’t use eating out all the time as an excuse for not losing weight. You are the one ordering the food and no one is forcing you to eat it.

If you really can’t resist when you go out, then take the time to plan, prepare and cook food at home so that you don’t rely so much on restaurants. Arrange to meet friends for coffee, a sandwich or a movie rather than dinner or organise a more active outing such as a walk, shopping trip or bowling party. You are only limited by your imagination. On business trips, you can use local stores to buy healthy foods to eat in your room for at least part of your stay. The size of your expense account does not have to show up in the size of your waistline.

Copyright 2005, Janice Elizabeth Small

Janice Elizabeth is a weight loss coach, slimming club owner and author of “The Diet Exit Plan”, an 8 week coaching program for natural permanent weight loss. Request her FREE 15 page report “How to lose weight without dieting – 7 secrets the diet industry doesn’t want you to know” at http://www.SimplySlimming.com TODAY!

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