Probems with happy hour and eating out :/

JillianLH Posts: 23 Member
hey everyone!

Im 25 live and in Center City Philadelphia and LOVE to go out. Im not a big drinker but I do enjoy a glass of wine or 2 and now that its summer it feels like its happy hour 24-7 7 days a week in the city! I also like to go out to dinner with friends.

That being said no matter how healthy I am when choosing the menu items its always worse than what I would eat at home or the salad I would grab. Last night I had vegetable stirfry with tofu and according to MFP the average is about 650 calories. I thought it would have been 300-400!

What is your take on this? Should I not go out? I feel like the second I eat out I gain weight the next day! This is hard and frustrating:(

Any advice helps with drinks or things to order!


  • KaylaMack0215
    KaylaMack0215 Posts: 55 Member
    Eating out is a tough one for sure! I work in the industry, so I used to go out for drinks/food almost every night. My best advice to you eat a healthy meal before you go out! That always curbs my wanting something off the menu. When it comes to drinks I go on and see the calorie content of what I'm drinking.
  • vienna_h
    vienna_h Posts: 428 Member
    Going out with friends is always a good thing, I wouldn't stop myself from going out all together. It's not worth missing out on all the fun!

    The problem with restaurants is portion sizes! Even if order the healthiest thing on the menu, the portion will be huge (the exception of higher end restaurants that focus on quality over quantity). I always want to eat everything on my plate... but it makes a big difference if you aim to eat only half your plate and plan to take the rest home and eat the left overs for lunch the next day!!!

    Not to mention, it saves $$$

    Also, always order water. It fills you up and slows you down from eating and drinking other drinks.

    Talk a lot... more talking, less (or at least slower) eating!
  • ryry_
    ryry_ Posts: 4,966 Member
    For me i have to curb/eliminate eating out to be successful. Like you said, I almost always eat more than I should, or outright binge.
  • rainsunshine
    rainsunshine Posts: 10 Member
    It's such a problem! Before I go out to eat, I eat an apple and almonds or nonfat greek yogurt. Same for before going out to a bar. It ensures I'm not starving when I arrive and that I can feel comfortable ordering something that might not have a ton of protein, but a lot of veggies (for ex). It also keeps from ordering excess caloric beverages.

    My favorite thing to do though is to order two appetizers instead of an appetizer and entree. For instance, appetizer salad and an appetizer cheese plate or meat and veggie skewers. The smaller portion size makes sure I don't over eat, even if it is more caloric than I would cook for myself.
  • For me i have to curb/eliminate eating out to be successful. Like you said, I almost always eat more than I should, or outright binge.

    Same here. Eating out is my kryptonite. If I allowed myself, I would eat Wendy's/Zaxby's/Chick-Fil-A for every meal, every day. When I'm being super serious about MFP, I try to keep it to one meal a week out. Obviously during exams and the such this rule is bent, but usually I try to monitor myself. AND it saves money to not eat every meal!

    I don't think there's anything wrong with going out, because no one wants to miss out on the fun, but eat something at home first and only get a side salad or something small when you're out. Or order something reasonable and cut it in half and ask for a box immediately.
  • akern1987
    akern1987 Posts: 288 Member
    I understand, I am the same age, and with my job you have to go out to lunch at least once a week, and happy hours are very encouraged, so I end up going out to eat a lot, and not only is it hard on my wallet, it's hard on my diet as well!

    Ususally I try and choose places that I know have heathier options, for example:
    Panera bread: you can always get something good here
    Fridays: Fridays has a menu where everything is under 550 calories
    Chipotle: places where you can choose what goes in your food is great (as long as you dont go overboard, and i would avoid the sour cream and cheese)

    As for the happy hour, try getting drinks that are lighter, try a holy water (ice water, lemon vodka and a splash of diet sprite or seltzer water (it's only the calories in the vodka). Or go for light beer, or just have one glass, then go for water!

    And, when all else fails, just plan accordinly and make sure you have the extra calories available, and if you dont, dont stress, just make sure it's an exception and not a rule!

    good luck!
  • I also struggle with eating out. I have also got in the habit of logging my order before I start eating (usually while drinking my pre-meal glass of water), so I know the damage and where I need to compensate. For example I went to Olive Garden last night and my meal was well over 1050 calories (ridiculous, I know)! So I divided it into 3 portions, dividing 1/3 from the other 2/3 with my breadstick until the waitress brought me a box. I also like and plan to use the same ideas below, eating something at home that I know will fill me up (apple or yogurt). I also read that doing wine spritzers (with seltzer or diet soda) and seltzer, vodka, and splashes of juice are much lower on calories than drinking full beverages. And I ALWAYS recommend drinking as much water as possible to avoid being hungrier or thirstier and ordering those extra calories.

    Created by - Free Calorie Counter
  • what I have done is just order appetizers and eat only half. appetizers can be big sometimes. Its been a true struggle. If I go out with friends I try to split my food with them as well. sharing the calories LOL. i have also been ordering water. eating out is hard. another thing I do is try to plan out what Ill eat before I go to the restaurant along with my previous calorie intake for that day.
  • TKRV
    TKRV Posts: 165 Member
    I struggle with this as well because my employer will often, as in at least once a week, order food for the office. I see how that is a huge benefit, especially when I don't have a lot of money to spare, but it is so hard to eat healthy that way.

    I've gotten really good at ordering the healthiest thing possible. Sometimes I request food without some of the things I know are adding calories. I've also convinced my employer to try other places, like Panera Bread, where it's easier to order healthy. So, that would be my main suggestion. Try suggesting restaurants that have more healthy options. It won't work every time, but maybe you can introduce your friends to a new place.
  • RachaelWinston
    RachaelWinston Posts: 41 Member
    This is exactly my problem as well! What I have been trying to do is if I know where I'll be doing out for dinner and drinks that night I will prelog what I will want to have there and work my day around that so I am working toward a goal and don't feel guilty later at dinner. I haven't quite nailed down how to deal with impromptu dinners or hang outs with food or booze involved :/ it's a struggle I I have thought carefully all day about my eating choices and then want to go out with friends when I don't have the calorie budget left for even 1 beer!
  • FitForL1fe
    FitForL1fe Posts: 1,872 Member
    don't eat everything on your plate

    order appetizers instead of entrees

    ask for off-menu *kitten* like 2 grilled chicken breasts and a veggie medley

    eat before you go