Over the course of my (almost) 2-year weight loss journey, I have heard from a lot of people.
People who saw my story on CNN or watched my video on YouTube will e-mail me asking for advice. They want to know how to get my results. A lot of people are really struggling with weight issues.
But when I drill down into their lifestyle and eating habits, I find a very familiar common thread:
People cannot stay out of the restaurants.
Whether it's the instant gratification, the ability to have anything you want at anytime or just the convenience, people love the drive-thrus and the delivery drivers. They love restaurants. There is only one problem.
You are killing yourself at the restaurants. Sure, the restaurant loads the gun, but we pull the trigger.
For someone who has a weight problem, everything about a restaurant feeds into an out-of-control lifestyle. The gigantic portions, the free refills.....the buffets. It is all a recipe for disaster. People will sit and consume 1,000 calories of breadsticks before the entree even arrives.
And the worst part about restaurants? It makes us lazy. Somebody else is deciding everything for us. We have zero input into what we're eating and how much we're eating. The restaurant decides the portion.
According to Forbes Magazine, in 1901, 3% of the American food budget was spent eating out. As of 2006, it was 47%. According to another article I read, it is 57% in the city of Atlanta.
This is out of control. We are surrendering our health to the restaurant, whose entire reason for being is to sell us as much food as possible. The restaurant wants us to eat as much as possible and does not have our best interests at heart. Not even a little bit.
A restaurant is a legitimate business and can do whatever it wants, but I am convinced that unless and until people get out of the restaurants, there is no healthy weight management in their future.
If you make it yourself, you know what's in it. You know how much you're eating. You're cooking a meal as your own chef, not as a salesman trying to boost your final bill as much as possible.