Who takes their meals with them? Social implications?

I am starting to reign in the calories and pretty much get hungry every 2 hrs. after I break my fast around 12:30-1pm. I am out working, with friends/family etc. and not really sure how to approach the whole carrying food with me thing. I used to just try to order something healthy on the menu like a boring salad that I could count, but I would rather not waste calories on food I didn't weigh out and prepare. I also like that meal prepping somewhat saves money.

What do you do in social situations if a. other people aren't eating and you have a meal or b. you're going out somewhere but want to eat your own food? There are so many times when I've been on track but then go out because I have to and then either overdo it for the day, or eat something I hate wasting calories on.


  • Lounmoun
    Lounmoun Posts: 8,426 Member
    The most I have ever done is bring a salad with me to have with my burger when getting food from somewhere or a packed lunch. I was eating in my car not in a restaurant or a party with other people where food was provided.
    At restaurants I have always been able to find something on a menu that fits my goals. I try to plan my order in advance. I eat out one meal a week maybe, sometimes less.
    I eat at fairly normal unpredictable meal times so socially I am not often eating when other people are not.

  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,695 Member
    I've never done anything like taking my own food with me unless it's a potluck...
  • singingflutelady
    singingflutelady Posts: 8,736 Member
    I wouldn't take my own food to a restaurant but since I have a lot of food restrictions because of a medical condition I do bring along something to parties, dinners, etc just in case there is nothing I can eat (unless the host specifically asks me what I can eat)
  • livingleanlivingclean
    livingleanlivingclean Posts: 11,752 Member
    edited December 2016
    I'd work on eating meals that satisfied me longer than 2 hours.
    My husband and I are both prepping for comps this year and sticking to our macros is important. Unless we have a "free" meal, we usually just take our own food, or try to plan get togethers that don't revolve around food. We've gone through the comp prep process a few times, and lots of people don't get it - we've lost some friends because of it, which is sad. Other friends don't care and are happy to have us over, and love that they don't need to worry about feeding us!

    I've been to restaurants and not eaten, I've been to restaurants where I've contacted them earlier to know I can get something that fits my goals, I can say no to food and don't mind parties where everyone else is eating.... I pretty much don't care what other people think about my eating habits!
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    I've never done anything like taking my own food with me unless it's a potluck...

    Same. Or a holiday meal where everyone brings things (I am going to one tonight, although the main meal should be fine too).
  • nvmomketo
    nvmomketo Posts: 12,019 Member
    I usually bring my own food, but that is because I am a celiac. Very few people know how to cook safely for me (like not using butter that has been touched by bread crumbs or not using sugar that may have had a flour coated measuring cup dipped in it, or just the fact that soy and worchestershire sauces have gluten). I bring food into lower end restaurants but buy drinks. If I go to someone's house, I always bring something to share that is safe. When I saty with family, I bring a lot of food and take over half of the cooking.

    Places I do go, like my family's, that I know are safe, I will eat within my macros and calorie counts. I may leave something off my plate, like noodles or bread, but I'll try most things.
  • LenGray
    LenGray Posts: 794 Member
    I bring my own lunch to work all the time and no one seems to mind. The main social thing that seems to happen is my friends asking if they can have some of what I'm having or asking for recipes.

    As for social gatherings, if I don't like what the restaurant cooks or I want to eat my own cooking, I'll usually just order a coffee or tea. When someone asks why I'm not eating, I say I had a big lunch or that I ate before I came out. It hasn't really affected my social interactions.
  • Due to medical reasons I bring my food with me to gatherings as well. But I know how being out you can sometimes get stuck where you need something quick to eat. I stash a protein bar in my purse at all times just in case. Its not really the best meal but saves me from rash decisions when I am hangry lol!
  • lorrpb
    lorrpb Posts: 11,464 Member
    edited December 2016
    I always try to bring my own snacks to tie me over when needed, as I have a very specific eating schedule & plan. My usual snacks keep my energy going when I'm with people who follow a different schedule and keep my hunger managed so I don't go crazy at a meal out.

    I agree that it's always helpful to think about what we want to "spend" our calories on. Part of this lifelong journey is developing tools & strategies to help us through a variety of unpredictable situations.
  • charlenekapf
    charlenekapf Posts: 309 Member
    All of these are great suggestions. I prefer not to just guesstimate at restaurants because I will eat pounds of "healthy/clean" food and be over my calorie limits due to big portions. Not saying I never will eat out because that's unsustainable but knowing I can order a tea, coffee, eat before or after, etc. are all good suggestions.
  • elphie754
    elphie754 Posts: 7,574 Member
    If other people aren't eating, I typically won't eat either.

    I have to bring my own food to all family functions that include food because of allergies. My family is very understanding of that and even joke that "we don't feed her".
  • ShammersPink
    ShammersPink Posts: 215 Member
    I'd take a packed lunch to work - as much for economic as dietary reasons - but never for a social occasion. I will nearly always be able to find something that I like, and if I'm being disciplined at home, the occasional calorific guesstimate won't hurt me.

    If I'm dieting, I have preferences for certain restaurants whose menus have choices that won't blow a crater in my goals, but I won't be too hair-shirted.

    But tonight is hogmanay, and we are spending it with a friend who doesn't eat vegetables (which is slightly incomprehensible to me at the best of times). He does cook some vegetables for us, but doesn't really know how to cook them and I find the results soggy and dispiriting.

    This was one factor in me deciding to host rather than visit him, as I can control the menu - making sure there is plenty that he likes, but also something that feels more balanced and enjoyable to me.

    I am still on my festive break from calorie counting.
  • Godsgirl42
    Godsgirl42 Posts: 3,490 Member
    edited December 2016
    I'm allergic to all grains, dairy, and certain nuts..plus some preservatives so, I take my food with me wherever I go. I've never had anyone look twice at me once I say something about my allergies. In any case....WHO CARES what people think!!!!! You're doing the best thing for yourself!!! Even restaurants understand!!
  • flagrantavidity
    flagrantavidity Posts: 217 Member
    Usually the awkwardness is in your own mind. Once you have told your family or friends what you are doing, it doesn't matter so much.

    When I don't want to spend my calories on a meal, let's say at IHOP but a friend invites me - I will come along and eat Soylent, a meal alternative.

    People who don't approve will choose to no longer invite me on meal outings, I find most people really don't care - they are more concerned that I feel comfortable with them eating in front of me. Once they figure out I'm not uncomfortable, and want to be social, the stigma of not eating or eating a meal alternative/replacement goes away.
  • Rebecca0224
    Rebecca0224 Posts: 810 Member
    I keep a couple meal replacement bars in my purse so I always have food. I eat every 2-3 hours so it's easier for me but at regular meal times (noon and dinner) I will bring a meal in a lunchbox. If you go to a restaurant be sure to ask if they allow outside food.
  • Gisel2015
    Gisel2015 Posts: 4,084 Member
    I don't take food anywhere unless it is a pot-luck or if I share cooking responsibilities with the host/hostess. I always find something that is good and healthy for me to eat at a restaurant; and I eat out quite often. Salads are everywhere and most of them are delicious, not boring.

    But I do understand the need to bring their food to social gathering for people that have a medical condition such a celiac or food sensitivities or allergies. In such a case, it would be very polite to let the host or hostess know in advance to avoid an awkward situation.
  • katthouse499
    katthouse499 Posts: 50 Member
  • debtay123
    debtay123 Posts: 1,327 Member
    I would just eat my own food ahead of time- then just order a drink or small salad of something to"tide me over" or so i will be having something.But if I think the food will look too good to me and I will be tempted then I just try to set up a date where we are not eating. You cold always go to the website of the restaurant IF it is a popular chain and choose what you want to eat before hand so you don't blow the whole day's macros on one meal-good luck
  • charlenekapf
    charlenekapf Posts: 309 Member
    It is nice reading everyone's different approaches to this.