If there is one question that I get asked on a daily basis our patients is “What can I eat when I go out to eat?” We tend to make eating out more complicated than it actually is and why do we do this? It’s actually a very simple answer….will power! When you are in the comfort of your own home and the foods on hand that go with your diet plan it’s much easier to not “fall off the wagon.” Going out with family and friends and seeing them make diet choices that are off limits for you current diet plan can make it very difficult to stick with the healthy lifestyle you are trying to achieve.
Will power plays a huge role in continuing to make the dietary choices when we go out to eat. Just because it’s on the menu does not mean that you need to order it! In this day and age restaurants offer many healthy options for patrons who adhere to a healthy lifestyle. Many chain restaurants such as Applebee’s, Chili’s & Outback Steakhouse have menu options that are 600 calories or less, still allowing you to enjoy a healthy but tasty meal with your friends and family and not feel that you have gone off your diet.
Even with those healthy menu options our eyes still tend to wander to the old habits that we are trying to kick, such as that basket of bread on the table or maybe that very chocolaty and calorie packed dessert at the end of the meal. Will power will help you get over those urges, don’t get me wrong it’s difficult to not succumb to the temptations around us when we go out but ask yourself this question before you order something you may regret, “How will I feel AFTER I eat this?” Nine out of ten times the answer is going to be “not very good.”
Just remember there are always going to be temptations out there whether at home, at parties or restaurants. Sometimes we will give into those temptations or just decided today I’m having a free day give me that cheese burger! The important thing to remember is that once you make the decision to break your diet you always can decide to get back onto your healthy lifestyle and start a new day!
As we begin to lose weight and get healthier it’s only natural for our energy levels to rise and want to begin a work out routine. Unfortunately many of us don’t take into account that when you begin to exercise you also need to raise your calorie intake. As I discussed in a previous blog post Common Misconceptions when it comes to Weight Loss, many of our patients believe that if they don’t eat they will lose weight. Sadly enough this also tends to carry over with working out, many of our patients will begin a vigorous work out routine and continue to eat the calorie intake given to them for non-work out days.
Why is this a problem you ask? Well in order for our bodies to continue to lose weight effectively we need to give it proper nutrition on a daily basis. Working out for two hours and not re-nourishing your body will cause your body to hold onto that very fat you are trying to get rid of. Our bodies are like machines and if you don’t give that machine fuel to work efficiently it will essentially break down. I’m sure you have seen those t-shirts on Pinterest that read something along the lines of “I run because I really really like food.” It may sound funny but it’s the truth, in order for anyone to see the results they are trying to achieve by starting an exercise routine they must also adjust their diet to fit that routine accordingly.
So how many additional calories should you be adding to your diet when you work out? The general rule of thumb is for every 30 minutes of exercise you do you should add 100 calories of a lean protein. I say general rule because every body is different and if you are just starting a work out routine your metabolism may not burn calories as quickly as someone who works out on a daily basis. Also 30 minutes of light walking compared to running at a rate of 4.5 mph for 30 minutes means the difference of a couple of hundred calories that you have burned.
Finding the right balance of calories you should be eating to the work out routine you choose may take a little bit of time to iron out but it’s important to monitor yourself and your progress. If you see the scale not moving, feel tired or even hungrier than usual you may need to re-think your weight loss routine and how it’s working with your work out routine. Don’t be discouraged you will find a happy balance!