Eat out and still be healthy

Can you eat out and still lose weight or stay in shape?

Last week I delivered a seminar to a packed out room of men and women who had all come along to hear the truth about eating out and the effects on health and weight-loss.

Eating out is part of daily life now, be that breakfast, lunch or dinner and whether it is for pleasure, business or necessity.  The fact is for many people it is unavoidable.  Sure cooking at home is best because you have control over what goes into your meals but if you never ate out again how would it impact on your life?

My view on it is that getting away from your desk at lunch time, meeting up with friends, visiting a restaurant with your partner or just having fun with food is equally as important as the quest to be healthy.


I encourage my clients to indulge in whatever they like and to really celebrate and enjoy it.  BUT, and here is the caveat – WITHIN REASON!

I am a big fan on the 90/10 rule.  Eat well 90% of the time and for the other 10% have whatever you fancy.  When you allow yourself a treat and factor it into your week you are much less likely to fall off the wagon because you know you have it to look forward to.

So with this in mind you have my full permission once a week to have a complete cheat meal including a big dessert if you want it.  However I know this doesn’t help with what to eat the other 90% of the time when your life demands you eat out.  If you apply the following tips you will be well on the way to cracking the code

1. Think about the frequency with which you eat out.  Try and cut out the meals out that are not completely necessary.  Eating out should be for celebrations, social occasions or when it is really necessary for work.  Not just as an everyday alternative to making something yourself.

2. Have breakfast at home.  Breakfast is one of the big ones and for many people the easiest to fix.  Eggs or porridge in the morning literally take two minutes to make, the key to it is being prepared and having the food in.  A proper breakfast will keep you feeling full and much less likely to have sugary mid morning snacks.  If you are in a hotel use the next few tips to help you make better choices.

3. Don’t overeat – try to think of it like you would a meal at home, do you really need 3 courses?

4. Avoid the bread basket.

5. Choose meals that are in as close to the natural identifiable state as possible – meats, fish, veg, rice, salad.  If you can’t picture what it was before it landed on your plate don’t eat it.

6. Try not to pick the fried options – have jacket potato over chips, poached egg over fried.

7. Have sauces on the side so you are in control of the amount.

8. Choose tomato based sauces over creamy.

9. If you can’t resist a dessert share it.

10. Coffee, go for a filter coffee rather than a latte or cappuccino and apply this tip during the day too.

11. Save alcohol for special occasions.

If you have a favourite restaurant and need help knowing what to pick from the menu, let me know and I’ll take a look for you.  I would love to hear how you get on applying these tips and if anybody has any others they would like to share.  xxxxx

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