I read with great interest a piece published on Health.com and picked up by CNN about overeating in restaurants. It was a fantastic, well-written article that included some great tips. But when I read this line, my head almost exploded:
"How can people fend off these extra calories?
We can stay away from restaurants altogether, of course, but for most
of us that’s not a viable—or particularly appealing—option."
To quote the well-known 20th century philosopher "Stone Cold" Steve Austin: "WHAT?"
It might not be appealing, but staying away from restaurants is not only viable, but it is the absolute key to the success of any lifestyle change. Before you go any further, if you're the type of person that eats out in a restaurant once in awhile, say once a week or less, I'm not talking about you.
I'm talking about the person who eats out daily, like I used to. Or multiple times daily, like I used to do. The problem with eating in restaurants is that somebody else is deciding the size of your portion. Somebody else is deciding the nutritional content of your food. And in most cases, there is *zero* nutritional information available. Sure, there might be "healthy options," but how do you know? Did you see it being prepared? Nope.
Also, think about this. In an environment where somebody is bringing you anything you want, as much as you want, who is really going to keep track? It is the goal of the restaurant to get you to spend as much money as possible and that means getting you to eat as much as possible.
Before the last 30 years or so, eating out used to be reserved for special occasions. People would have never dreamed of going to restaurants every single day, or multiple times per day. And yet here we are. But know this about most restaurant food: the food sucks, the food is not of very high quality and the food is loaded with as much sugar, fat and salt as possible to get you to eat as much as possible.
I should know. I was addicted to restaurants for years. I have eaten out exactly once in the last 19 months. The entire restaurant industry can shove it as far as I'm concerned. I don't think they're bad people or doing anything wrong, but I'm just not coming back. My own kitchen is my restaurant.
Preparing my own healthy meals and packing my lunch daily is both a viable and appealing option for me. How about you?