Restaurants don’t have to be your downfall
Eating at home from real, whole foods is always your best and healthiest option. However, eating in restaurants often feels unavoidable in a busy physician’s life. Sometimes work demands that we eat out for meetings or work travel. Other times you get caught on call without enough food and have to make a choice to eat out. Restaurants are often a solution to days where you just don’t have the energy to figure out a meal at home. And the truth is that eating at restaurants is fun and is often a part of our recreational activities.
So we are unlikely to completely avoid eating out. And most of us don’t want to completely cut it out. So how do you eat out without feeling like you completely fell off your plan?
This week’s episode will cover my best tips for eating out in restaurants while still losing weight. It is an important skill to master if you want to keep your weight off for the long term.
The most important skill
One of the biggest skills is working on your thoughts around eating out and what it means. For many years, I made eating out to be an excuse to overeat and eat off my plan. I could come up with a reason to overeat or eat off my plan in any situation. And a lot of them were subconscious. I was not consciously aware that I was sabotaging my efforts by how I was thinking about restaurants and the food I could order. I just thought I didn’t have will power and couldn’t resist all the delicious things on the menu. I thought I would always need to order the fries or I would plunge into a pit of deprivation. Sounds like I’m exaggerating? I’m really not. I remember big internal struggles over French fries. And so much distress and drama internally about these struggles.
What has changed? Now I do still \decide to order French Fries on occasion but it comes from a different place and I have a completely different feeling around it. If I decide that I want them, I will order them and not have any guilt or drama. But most of the time, I don’t really want them and so don’t order them. No fuss. No drama. No feeling deprived.
The biggest tool for making such a big change was really addressing my thoughts around food and, in particular, eating out. I’ve stopped making it mean more than a different place to have my meal and have stopped looking to the food to entertain me. Now I focus on being entertained by who I am with and what we are talking about.
These are skills worth building. Have patience with yourself as they do take some time and practice to master.
Weight Solutions for Physicians Podcast
This week’s Weight Solutions for Physicians Podcast episode goes into detail on my best tips for eating out including my practical tips for finding low carb options on almost any menu. Scroll down to listen in your browser or listen on iTunes, Google Play or Stitcher.
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