Startling to dread going out for meals



  • KosmosKitten
    KosmosKitten Posts: 10,476 Member
    Rob_in_MI wrote: »
    Order off the kids menu, order just a salad, or choose not to inhale the entire entree and appetizers.

    I do this or or order an entree I know my husband or kid will eat and only eat half of it. I take the other half home and store it for Sat. leftover lunch (since that's the day I dedicate to eating the leftovers for the week).

    We eat out pretty much every Friday (Fun Food Fridays). So if it's not pizza, it's usually eating out someplace in which an appetizer will set you back 1000 cal. It helps when I can research the place, but that's not always an option as we like trying new and local places.

    So that's when ordering small portions or one large portion that I split is very useful. :)
  • lindscro2
    lindscro2 Posts: 6 Member
    I always like to simply eat half my meal, saving the rest for later or the next day. It seems like 2 good meals :)
  • fitmom4lifemfp
    fitmom4lifemfp Posts: 1,572 Member
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    Lois_1989 wrote: »
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    It's one meal out of an entire week...

    For you that might not be a problem. For others, it is.

    Why? One meal out of an entire weeks worth of meals seem pretty immaterial to me regardless of who you are. There are also other ways to compensate if need be. In the big picture, it's just not very material.

    Exactly, to you. Other people might find this a challenge. Don't down-play other peoples struggles.

    I'm not down playing anything...I'm trying to show the bigger picture...people drown in minutia. And really, having a refeed day is actually good for you...

    Not if it blows my whole week of effort. I'm not here to "refeed". That method is fine for bodybuilders and such, looking to cut, or get leaner or more muscle. I'm here to lose fat. I don't need MORE calories, and I don't want to have to work harder during the week to recover from a high-calorie meal out.

  • Joyjas
    Joyjas Posts: 18 Member
    pupntot wrote: »
    I too have this problem and while I'm still working on the self control element this is what I do:

    I want to lose 1 pound per week (-500 cals) so what I have done is switched my goal to lose 1.5 pounds (-750) and followed this during the week. Then at the weekend I know I have banked 1250 cals which is my buffer for naughtiness, plus if I really wanted I've got an extra 500 for the weekend. It is working for me, just a thought.

    Love this idea!! I go out to eat every Sunday with my family after church and even though I know I could make better choices I usually go for a nice juicy burger with fries or pizza or something equally as unhealthy. I did WW with success in the past and I think the reason is the extra flex points they gave. I would save them all for the end of the week and could eat out and still lose weight. I've been struggling with MFP - I'm losing but very slowly (1-2lbs per month). I am going to try your idea and see if I can get the weight off a little faster. Thanks!

  • inertiastrength
    inertiastrength Posts: 2,344 Member
    Most places here have to list the calories on the menu. The few restaurants I do go to (like tonight for example). I know the calories pretty intimately. I eat out about once a week at my favourite chicken place and it hasn't hindered my progress
  • kimny72
    kimny72 Posts: 16,027 Member
    OP, what do you normally order? Do you dread it because you feel the need to log exactly, or do you dread it because you end up making bad choices and can't seem to control yourself?

    If the dread is just an anxiety that you don't have specific calories to be sure of, then you need to find a way to let that go. Once you get more practice, you can get really good at figuring out what to log.

    If the dread is because you end up making bad choices, then maybe if you tell us what you tend to eat there, we can provide some suggestions?
  • Libby283
    Libby283 Posts: 288 Member

    Don't be afraid to leave food on your plate.

    This is VERY IMPORTANT!!! Waste food. It is better for it to go in the trash than add extra weight to your body. I think this is why I have always been fairly thin. I never finish anything. Nor do I lose a moments thought on food that I throw away.
  • JennMyersOrtner
    JennMyersOrtner Posts: 6 Member
    Get a burger with a side salad and only eat half the burger. Save the rest of the burger for your dinner :)

    Since it's only once a week I don't think one meal will make a difference as long as you are not getting an appie and dessert with it or alcohol/sugary drinks.
  • thistimereally
    thistimereally Posts: 74 Member
    I hear ya OP! I enjoy eating out but I don't enjoy the obsessive anxiety that comes with it. Honestly if you can't change the location - I try really hard to go to places that have nutrition info - you might want to eat at home first, then order an appetizer or something and only have a few bites. It sounds miserable and it can be hard to watch everyone else eat but it keeps me from obsessing over the "uncountable" calories I've eaten! There's almost always someone in the group who is willing to finish my food for me lol
  • KelGen02
    KelGen02 Posts: 668 Member
    I usually google the menu of the place, if I know a head of time where we will be eating, pick something and log it into my calories for that day and eat around that meal. There are usually healthier versions of meals options at every restaurant. If you don't want to eat something healthy and want to enjoy a nice burger or something else you don't normally eat then go for it, log it, cut the portion in half or make sure that you workout and burn the amount of calories needed to fit it into your day. Don't stress about going out to eat, just make good choices, eat smaller portions, get sauces, dressings on the side so you have more control of your calories. Life Balance is key to success. We are programmed to think that certain foods are a NO GO, when in fact all we truly need to do is eat less of it. Good luck!
  • fitmom4lifemfp
    fitmom4lifemfp Posts: 1,572 Member
    Libby283 wrote: »

    Don't be afraid to leave food on your plate.

    This is VERY IMPORTANT!!! Waste food. It is better for it to go in the trash than add extra weight to your body. I think this is why I have always been fairly thin. I never finish anything. Nor do I lose a moments thought on food that I throw away.

    Of course it's better. But I know myself, and my own ability to resist food on my plate. It makes sense more sense for me to simply not go there. That's why I never go to buffets. It grates me to pay absurdly high prices for food that I don't eat. I would much rather prepare my own.
  • LeslieB042812
    LeslieB042812 Posts: 1,799 Member
    I am a petite female with a desk job (e.g. very low weight loss calorie alotment) and I have been successful losing weight while eating out frequently (3-6 times per week).

    Right now, I'm eating a turkey wrap from my work cafeteria. They weigh out and portion the roasted turkey and the wrap came from a package that I asked to see the nutritional information on. Add some fresh veggies (spinach, peppers, etc.) and some frank's hot sauce (10 calories for 2 tablespoons) with carrot sticks on the side and you have a healthy filling lunch for about 300 calories--just as good as eating at home.

    Pub food can also work, although it's a lot harder. Here are some tricks I use:
    • Intermittent fasting: make that meal your main meal and tide yourself over by chewing sugar free gum and drinking non-sweetened tea, coffee and water throughout the rest of the day.
    • Eat high protein, high volume foods to tide you over. For example, a packet of tuna on a pile of greens is very filling and well under 200 calories, leaving plenty of room for your pub meal.
    • Be selective about what you order/eat. For example, (as others have pointed out) you could do fairly simple foods like steak or chicken and vegetables and log it similarly to eating at home.
    • Add a buffer. I usually add a tablespoon of oil and/or butter to account for cooking styles (fat makes it all taste better and chefs know this!). If it looks shiny or oily, I'll double that.
    • Make some healthier choices and some less healthy. If you love burgers, have the burger, but get the side salad instead of the fries. Or, if you love fries more than bread, get the burger and fries but skip eating the bun.
    • Be ready to flex in the moment. For example, my husband wanted to go to BBQ for dinner so I planned my day around that, logging the turkey as the low calorie meat with the french fries that we love as the splurge. When we got there, they were out of turkey, so I ordered the pulled pork and made up the calories by swapping the fries for non-fried sweet potato.
    • Finally, as many have noted, save extra calories on other days of the week and earn extra through extra movement that day.

    All of this takes practice, but once you get the hang of it and get over the "all or nothing" mentality that we often have when eating out, it gets much easier.

    Also, I can't stress enough what other folks have said about leaving food--it's okay. Your food won't feed starving children and throwing it in the garbage is better than treating your body like the garbage can and throwing it in there. That was a big wake up call for me because I was raised to never waste food. It was so liberating to realize that you're still wasting it if you continue eating after you're full.

    Good luck!
  • annacole94
    annacole94 Posts: 997 Member
    Cutting out ALL restaurant eating, forever, is a very extreme solution that most people don't need to pursue.

    Sure, it's an option, but it's not one to throw out in a pretty standard "how do I deal with eating out" thread.
  • brznhabits
    brznhabits Posts: 126 Member
    edited April 2017
    Yeah, this seems like the mindset isn't helping, maybe reframe your approach.

    We choose to be healthier and we choose to spend time with family and friends. This is not a must or can't scenario. You only dread it because your perception is deprivation. It's not, you can choose to eat whatever you want or you can choose to eat a bit healthier each and every time.

    If you choose to eat a buffalo'd blue fried chicken sandwich at the pub (my favorite :p ) and have a couple beers then you have to choose to compensate for that, either by hitting your goal later down the road or by compensating with exercise, for example. If you choose the sandwich and no fries and two beers that may be a better balance. If you choose a salad, low cal dressing and only one beer then that's a really good balance.

    There's a good thread re: not being afraid to be a princess when ordering over here that might help.
  • Francl27
    Francl27 Posts: 26,373 Member
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    It's one meal out of an entire week...

    Speaking for myself, one meal can do enough to undo half my weekly deficit (or all of it if I have dessert too).

    It's never 'just a meal'. Obviously though it's a bigger deal if your TDEE is 1600 (and not 2400+). I can typically fit in a 1200 calorie lunch, no problem, as long as I stay active that day. But I never seem to be able to fit a higher calorie dinner without going over (I'm usually hungrier at breakfast and lunch and it's nearly impossible for me to eat out for less than 600 calories without leaving hungry).
  • dwntwn5
    dwntwn5 Posts: 69 Member
    I like many of the ideas shared and use some of them (and will use some more) in the future. One to add, OP, is to time the meal so it can actually serve as two meals. We go out to lunch most Saturdays, but time it between 3 and 4. The good news is, we get into restaurants without a wait, and it's at a time that means I only eat 1 big meal that day. I wait to eat breakfast on Saturdays until later in the morning, make it healthy and fairly low cal, (or whenever my stomach starts growling) then just eat what we call "lupper" in our house.