“Dining Out v.s. Eating Out — How to Deal With It”

Thursday, May 14, 2015

“Dining Out  v.s.  Eating Out — How to Deal With It”

Is there a difference? Absolutely — at least to me there is.

“Eating Out” in my book means grabbing something to eat and moving along with the day. Often, no real thought goes into this. If I eat in a rush or because I’m hungry or it’s time, and I’ve got things to do and places to go, I’m usually in for a mistake.

Example: The #1 Meal at Nathan’s, a hot dog, fries, and a soda. There’s nothing healthy on that tray. (OMG, I love those dogs! Sorry, but it’s true.)

I’ve found that other fast-food places usually pose the same difficult choices for me. (Disclaimer: Some DO have a healthy choice or two and some even indicate the calories for each item — that’s a help). Do I make good choices when I’m there? No. My bad, I admit it. The smell of the fries overtakes my senses, my mouth begins to water, my breathing accelerates and a bad decision is usually ahead. Allowing that ‘rush’ to overcome my brain is frustrating! Do I cave? Sometimes. No one ever said diabetes was easy, but they did say it can be controlled.

My answer to this dilemma? DON’T go in. For me, I’m aware that eating in a fast-food restaurant will lead to disaster. I need to think about what I’m doing to my body. Slow down. Make a healthy decision. What would Spock do? “Live long and prosper,” of course. Now THAT sounds like a wise decision.

O.K., here’s the other end of the spectrum — “Dining Out.”
If I’m going to lunch or dinner with friends, or breakfast too, for that matter, my first line of defense is the Internet. I enter the name of the restaurant, pull up the menu, check out the choices and determine what the best decision for me might be. It’s easy to make the right choice ahead of time, sticking to it is the difficult part.

I’ve found that there are tools to help me follow through with my healthy choice:

1. Drink an 8 oz. glass of water, prior to leaving for the restaurant.

2. Consume a healthy snack an hour before going.

3. Remember that, even though there’s a menu, you can usually get any of the items on it grilled. Just ask.

4. Avoid the prix fixed choices. They may be a good deal money wise, but they usually include an appetizer and dessert. Do you really need that? NO, and try not to convince yourself that you ‘deserve’ it — you deserve to be healthy.

5. IMPORTANT:  If at all possible, be the FIRST to order, and then hand your menu to the waiter. It’s not spiritual reading; no need to hold onto it. Consider your decision complete. Done! Finito!

6. Stick to your guns; don’t let anyone sabotage your decision. Here’s an answer to:

“You’re not having an appetizer?”
Ans: “No. Saving room for dinner. I’ve been looking forward to it all day. I don’t want to spoil my appetite.”

What, no dessert?”
Ans: “Are you kidding? I couldn’t eat another thing. Dinner was deeeelicious!”

Believe it or not, you will survive without an appetizer and dessert, and your friends will get used to you making healthy choices. With any luck, they’ll follow your lead!

The payoff at the end of the meal is that you will have made good decisions that will lead to a healthy life. Isn’t that all that matters?

Hey! Let me know the tools that you use to make healthy choices
–OR– Having difficulties? Want to share..?