If you are worried that eating out will ruin your goals, or that you won't make progress unless you cook all your food yourself, hallelujah - you are mistaken!
A lot of women I coach struggle with eating out in one of two ways.
1. Eating out induces stress. It's hard to be sure if we are tracking accurately when you are not cooking it or seeing it be cooked. Or, even without tracking, there is the assumption that eating out cannot be healthy.
2. Total defeat, completely giving up trying to "be healthy" for the entire day or even the entire weekend, because eating out surely ruined any progress.
I'm here to assure you, eating out is NOT the bane of all weight-loss, health, or physique goals!
Whether you are tracking macros, or using another method to be aware of your food choices, eating out can let you maintain or even continue to progress in your goals.
Listen, food is food. There is not good food or bad food; there is only food that is more or less nutritious. Don't sabotage yourself with thoughts like, I cannot eat that because it's bad for me. Instead, remind yourself that there are nutrients your body needs, and your food choices determine whether or not you receive those nutrients. It's that simple. Maybe you pick something that's not super nutritious on a Saturday afternoon. The rest of your Saturday, the rest of your weekend, the rest of your week are all chances to get those nutrients.
This is my promise to you, you cannot ruin days, and weeks, and months of progress with one meal. Just like you can't make days and weeks and months of progress with one meal.
It really starts with mindset. We know the statements above are true, but we still get stuck in thinking otherwise when a menu is put in front of us.
If you have serious goals, and possibly a deadline for needing to reach them (and that is not the majority of us), yes, you should try your absolute hardest to track while you eat out.
But, if you are the majority of us, just try to implement one or more of these easy macro tips when you eat out:
-If you need to track accurately, try to find the nutrition facts for where you are going or what you plan to eat online before heading out to eat. If it's not available, find something similar on another restaurant's menu and don't stress that it's not 100% accurate.
-Fat is so easily snuck into food in restaurants; if you are not eating a high fat diet, aim to keep the rest of your day lower in fats to accommodate for this.
-The good news about carbs... carbs always look like carbs! You usually won't be blindsided by the fact that you ate them. So if you need to eat a certain amount of them, you can make a good guesstimate by what you choose, and by seeing your plate when it comes out.
-Pick something with protein!!! Protein is going to be the easiest macronutrient to miss out on when eating out. Try not to fill up on the rest of your food before you've eaten the protein.
-Consider how much water you've had that day. If you're dehydrated, you'll likely eat more than you would otherwise.
-Lastly, ENJOY IT! Someone else is making your food, someone else is likely bringing your food to you, you likely have someone to enjoy that meal with... it can be a fun experience if you let it!