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I Can’t Eat Out…HA!

03/11/2009

Now if you’ve been reading this blog enough you know that the phrase “I can’t eat out” doesn’t even cross my lips EVER!  I’ve eaten out for an entire week, the day before a Weigh in for Weight Watchers and last-minute just because I feel like it/ we get invited out.  But even though eating out is a nice fun thing to do, for Hunni and I it often becomes a necessity.  Often we have to do it for work because of travel or crazy days in the office that only leave time to quickly order something for delivery to scarf down at my desk between phone calls and emails.  (Mind you I live upstairs from my office so I don’t pack lunches).    

Heck this time of the year is chock full of eating out for Hunni and me because we are super busy with our normal day-to-day stuff so when you add on taking applications for our Christmas Assistance Programs and signing up volunteers there is barely time to sneeze let alone eat.  I’m lucky if I have time to drink down my Green Monster I’ve been taking to the office for breakfast…but trust me I make time for that yumminess 🙂  Last week alone I think I ate at home once for lunch and everything else was out.   And this week is no exception.  Today I had a wrap from my favorite coffee shop down the street and a medium latte for a caffeine fix (don’t worry I’ll sleep tonight).  It was yummy and I enjoyed it but it is not always conducive to Weight loss (read gobs of Hummus dripping down my fingers and oozing out the sides of the wrap). 

 

So for me I like to eat out but it also happens out of necessity more often than not.  Instead of getting crazy and nervous about not having control of my food (I used to do this and didn’t eat out for 6 months one time while teaching, not a fun way to live) I instead learn to enjoy the food and the variety it offers from my regular menus.  I’ve learned how to make it work for me instead of having to work hard to get off the pounds it can put on if done wrong.  So here are my favorite eating out tips.

  • Have a few go to restaurants that you know that you know the healthy options on the menu.  For me this means Subway, the coffee shop down the street, Panera and Whole Foods.  Each are a quick bite to eat that feels decadent (maybe not the subway) but I know is not going to bust my budget or waist line. 

For regular restaurants I like several local places as well as Ruby Tuesday’s Salad Bar and Bertucci’s.  They all have great salads I can choose from instead of the typical iceberg thrown in a bowl with dry chicken and Ranch.

 

  • For new places look at the menu ahead of time.  So many places have the menus online so you plan ahead and know what you are ordering before you even arrive.  That makes it easier to plan the rest of your day.  And it also gives you a chance to get the drooling done at home or in the office instead of all over the menu at the restaurant.

 

  • Order first.  If you already know what you want (from looking in advance) order first so you aren’t swayed by others.  I do this every time we out with friends because other stuff would end up sounding too good and I’d change my mind (like Charles’ French Onion soup tonight…*OMG*… I can’t believe I just quoted Gossip Girl it looked that good).

 

  • Know the occasion.  Not all eating out has to be healthy.  We eat out a lot so I try to keep it fairly healthy.  But if we are eating for a special occasion like our anniversary or the like then I’ll just order and eat what I want not what might be the best choice.  Those are the days for the gobs of goat cheese on my salad and pasta and dessert…okay maybe not dessert because of the sugar but definitely a cappuccino.

 

  • Enjoy the food!  Food should be enjoyed whether it is healthy or not, eaten at home or not.  Who wants to eat cardboard covered in saw dust.  Not this girl.  Instead order something healthy that sounds delicious.  If you like what you eat and enjoy it you are more likely to not need a snack to make you feel satisfied later.

 

I’m sure you’ve heard tons of eating out strategies before.  But hearing them and putting them into practice is key.  For me I can’t push away the bread basket because it is so yummy and I don’t normally eat bread at home.  So I enjoy a piece or two and I’m satisfied.  Who can resist warm pizza dough rolls at Bertucci’s with olive oil…not this girl.  And I don’t like to take leftovers home because they won’t get eaten usually…we don’t like to reheat restaurant meals.  So I don’t order a large meal.  I would rather order smaller plates than order a big think to waste later. 

 

The key to eating out for me and for anyone is knowing your own limits.  I know I can’t go to a buffet because the sign ALL YOU CAN EAT is a challenge not a marketing suggestion.  Knowing this about myself as a lot more (see the tip on ordering first) helps me to enjoy the dining out experience without having to be reminded of it later with a bloated tummy or extra weight on my hips due to over indulging at every meal.

 

I keep going back to my new favorite word but….BALANCE people BALANCE!

 

And just because this post is a little lot text heavy here are some pictures of doggie cuteness to bring a smile to your day.

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What is your favorite eating out trick?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. 03/11/2009 9:37 AM

    Balance is always a good thing to strive for 🙂

    • 03/11/2009 3:17 PM

      I’m trying. So hard to do after an imbalanced life but I’m doing it 🙂

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