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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I'm Scared to Eat Out!

In the past couple weeks I was able to pin point a major dilemma in my weight loss journey- I'm scared to eat out and get major anxiety from it.  In 5th grade my family ate out 6-7 nights a week and multiple times a week we stopped at fast food for a snack of ice cream or some fried food.  That year, I gained over 30 pounds and went from buying clothes in the girls department to wearing double digit sizes in the junior department.  That's when my life really changed and food and weight became a constant struggle. 

My family owned a business where my dad didn't close up shop until 7:30 and my mom hated to cook so we met my dad at his shop and went straight to dinner.  I always ordered the same thing- salad with ranch dressing, soda, New York steak, and baked potato with all the fixings.  How and why my parents allowed that I'm not sure.  But I think that year was really the root of my anxiety when it comes to eating out because I never ONCE chose a healthy option when eating out, never limited my proportions, nothing!  Even in high school once I was 16, my friends and I went out to lunch at fast food places every single day.  A lot of times they would split a value meal or just order a couple tacos but I'd order the value meal and eat it all myself. 

Fast forward to my life now, I avoid eating out.  I go to great lengths to make sure we have a nutritious homemade dinner 6 nights a week and I may eat out once a week but I get excited when we don't eat out at all.  My husband on the other hand eats out at lunch every single day and most mornings and would love nothing more than to eat out every single meal on the weekends.  I usually only go out to eat when I can eat most of my weekly allowance points so that I'm not forced to make a healthy choice and I feel less guilty about the crap I eat.

I get anxiety walking into the restaurant and sitting down and then looking at the menu where I have to battle thoughts of 'make a healthy choice, make a healthy choice' and then the waiter comes and I blurt out my order for a heavy calorie meal.  Fail.  Then it takes me about 4 days for my weight to drop back down to what it was before I ate out which is slowing down my weight loss (by the way I've lost 3.2, 1.6, 1.8, and .8 pounds at the last 4 weigh ins at WW which I'm super excited about!!).

In 3 months we are headed to Oregon for 2 weeks of vacation including a wedding and I'm so nervous.  I usually gain 10 pounds while on vacation and it usually takes me 6 months to a year to lose it because I'm so wrapped up in being disappointed in myself, it's awful!

So next week I'm giving myself a challenge.  I'm going to eat out at fast food 5 days in a row and I must preplan what I'm going to order before I go and it must be 11 points or less in order for me to still eat normal the rest of the day without going over my 28 points for the day.  Also, I will eat out lunch on Saturday and breakfast on Sunday at a sit down restaurant and again must order my meal for 11 points or less.  I've been working on a cheat sheet for the fast food restaurants and I'll do the same for the restaurants so that when I'm on vacation, I can reference the chart.  I won't be eating out this much for the next 3 months, but I need to give myself a test once in a while and identify problems I run into while I'm eating out and try to get over my anxiety. 

Even eating out with friends or family, which should be enjoyable, becomes a dreaded task and at some point I just have to face it and learn how to change it.  I'll post my cheat sheet on her when I'm done with it and let you know how next week goes!

Are any of my blog friends successful in eating out and choosing a healthy option or is that usually your splurge/cheat meal?


  1. Hi, I really liked your post..I have been eating home cooked food mostly since 6 months and have lost nearly 10 pounds and as soon as i eat out i start gaining..The best thing is it look at the nutrition guide of the restaurant you are eating before visit..That way you can decide what to order or add into your meal..

    Hope this info helps in making decisions about your food while eating out..


  2. With the Myfitnesspal app- I usually stay in target range. I pretty much plan a splurge. If I go over at breakfast, I scale down the rest of the day. If I go over at dinner, then I head to the gym for 30 minutes to help out. Sometimes if I cant do that, I take away calories (or points in your case) from the next day. I have been sick so I havent been tracking or anything. I gained my 3 lbs back, lost 5 when I was sick, and havent weighed in this week. I will see Saturday where I stand and get back on really tracking it and exercising. I've had bronchitis so I didnt want to workout with the breathing stuff and all. Dining out WW style is totally do able, just plan. I usually plan like 3 different options at the restaurant that I can count on, because you never know what you are going to be craving/what problems you might have (like the one time ordering a dish that they are out of or something) Good luck!

  3. Laks, I've been looking up every restaurant that would be a possibility but it's crazy how many calories are in the most basic fast foods. Even getting a kids meal is a no go for me because they are often around 1000-1500 calories.

    Annie, I might need to plan a good workout for my restaurant days on the weekend, that's a good idea! True about the different options, the worst is looking up the points for a salad only to get there and totally crave something so opposite of a salad! Hope you feel better soon:)

  4. I know how you feel. Going out to eat often means you lose all the control over how much fat, salt, sugar goes into the food you eat. Sounds like you are being thoughtful and trying to figure out how to avoid getting something spur of the moment and eating a lot more than you would have wanted. Is there any way you can focus on having one "not so fun meal" a day where you are eating very little calories and then looking forward to your fast food meal, where you know you'll get most of your calories for the entire day? I think everyone has to do what works best for their lifestyle. I usually need to have a light lunch so I can look forward to a heavier meal at dinner! Yum!

  5. That's what I usually do is try to limit calories the rest of the day but the problem is when I'm on vacation, it's very hard when I'm faced with eating out most meals and snacks to not splurge all the time. Also for some reason, if I splurge at a restaurant, I get home and in a few hours I still am hungry or I think I need dessert. I'm just trying to learn to make eating out not equal splurging. I went out to lunch with a friend yesterday and had a smoked turkey sandwich, asked for no cheese, salad with ranch but dipped my fork in the ranch and used hardly any of it and then had iced tea with it. I was full and that was a win in my book:)