Living a healthy lifestyle can be very tricky, especially when it comes to eating healthy meals. Now that I am an official Californian, I have found more and more people prefer to eat out in restaurants than at backyard BBQ’s. This is quite sad in my opinion, to which we have broken this rule many of times. It brings to mind the question of how healthy eating out can be on a Healthy, Vegan Lifestyle. This goes for a healthy, weight loss plan too. So I question, can a person eat out at a restaurant and still find healthy options?
Many of dieters trying to lose weight fear the idea of going out to a restaurant to dine, even for one meal a week. When I first starting eating healthy and losing a lot (the healthy way), I was bent on going out to eat with friends and family members. It was the fear of losing control and/or not knowing exactly what was contained in my meals that I feared most. Then it hit me, I do not want to have an eating disorder where I fear food. Food is a gift from God that nourishes the body and mind, not something that should be feared. So slowly I started to force myself to go out once again and not fear what I was eating.
Controlling what one eats can become an addictive behavior, one that many people that lose weight by unhealthy methods suffer. Does one have to give up on eating out? No! Does one have to bring a homemade meal to govern over what is going in the body? No! It is a common mistake to believe one meal is going to completely take over your entire thinking and erupt the bad habits that used to be in action. One meal out is not going to make you gain weight. One meal out is not going to change your entire frame of mind. Please do not take a meal with you, when you feel as though you might lose this much control, you are letting food take over your mind. Take control of what you do in life and realize you can order whatever you want to eat. Many people find it interesting I can eat just about at any restaurant (minus those speciality ones that serve 1-2 animal based meals).
How do you eat out without eating too much? Again, one does not simply lose all control after one meal, nor does one gain weight from one meal. Simply eat the same way you do for the rest of the meals in the day (do not starve yourself!) and then enjoy a meal that someone has made for you at a restaurant. Be mindful of what you are ordering, for instance maybe not order a triple batch of french fries at once, but enjoy yourself. Food is meant to be enjoyed, especially alongside others in gatherings. If you simply deprive yourself of everything that you used to like, is your life as fulfilling as you want it to be in the first place. Maybe over the months of your weight loss, your choices may change and you order even healthier (or maybe not). It does not matter because one has to eat 3500 extra calories to gain a pound of fat, something that can be done but in one day. Most likely all of that will be flushed out of your system the next few days. If you eat healthy the rest of the time, you should not worry about it. The human body has been formulated to regulate itself and this is exactly the occasion it has been looking forward to showoff it’s balancing act.
As a few examples of things I eat while dining out with friends:
This is a quinoa salad that has vegetables and fruit inside. Yes, it does have fat content in it but these are healthy fats which should not be feared. I love looking for fresh fruits and vegetables as I love to eat these foods. One does not always have to eat salad to be healthy, go with what you love and is fresh.
Another healthy meal I love to eat out at Sharky’s Restaurant in California. This is not only vegan but healthy. It contains tofu, rice, black beans, tomatoes, onions, garlic, cilantro, zucchini, green peppers (which I make Genki Husband eat) and freshly smashed avocado. Avocado is a healthy fat, it is not going to make you fat but give your body the nutrients it needs to build strong nails, shiny hair, and glowing skin. I also have 2 small tortillas on the side with this dish. After eating this meal, I have the energy of an army of men and can go for hours without needing a refresh. Feed the body fresh produce and it will provide tons of energy.
Veggie Grill “Fish Tacos” which are a bit small for my large appetite but very tasty. While these vegan options may not be available in your area, you can still find something else in return. When we lived in a small town in the middle of the south, I would order tofu or just a ton of grilled veggies. There are always options, just look for ingredients in other entrees and add them together and order to your content. Pay for what you want to eat, not what they want you to eat.
Just to show you I do not eat “healthy” every time I go out to eat. Actually I go for the items I would not have available in my kitchen, or something I never like to make myself because it takes too long. This Veggie Grill’s Mondo Nachos – my favorite dish from this vegan restaurant in California. I eat this every time I visit. This contains a lot of fat in the vegan daiya cheese, vegan sour cream, vegan chicken, jalapeños, green onions, onions, and guacamole. So delicious, it is worth it!
Even a health buff such as myself, I tend to eat what I want to eat while out in a restaurant. Sometimes I do have to get creative as I do not always want what is on the menu. Most of the time the waitstaff is super kind and some are even creative in making suggestions to me. Dining out is not supposed to be a torture but rather a mission. So go out there and enjoy your meals with friends and family without the little nagging voice in the back of your mind telling you if you eat something other than a salad, you are going to gain all the weight back.
Note: If you are having issues going out to eat without feeling the need to take a portion controlled meal to a restaurant, you might be dealing with something more than a mission to lose weight. Please talk to someone about it and see if there is an eating disorder hiding in the shadows of your future success. You are beautiful and you deserve to enjoy everything in life you wish.
Check Out All My Restaurant Eats HERE.