A common question from people trying to lose weight is, “Can I still lose weight if I eat out a lot?”  Yes, you can still lose weight if you eat out regularly.  However, your success rate will depend on how mindful you are and the choices you make.  In order to be successful in losing weight you must be inquisitive about your food preparation, be mindful of the portion sizes, ask for special preparation, and stay away from bread at the table.

chicken-stir-fryFirst, you need to consider the places you are choosing to eat out.  Are you eating in a cafeteria, a restaurant, or nothing but fast food?  Each of these plays a different role in your food selection and weight loss plan.  While a restaurant can provide a more calm atmosphere, it may also provide larger challenges to proper portion size.  You will also need to be more cautious of how the food is prepared and more mindful of items like bread that might throw off your weight loss goals.  On the flip side, a fast food restaurant is going to offer unique challenges with temptation and it may be more difficult to make healthy food choices.

Secondly, consider how you eat.  Are you eating on the run or eating by yourself?  Taking the time to sit down and have a complete meal will aid in your weight loss.  In addition, having a companion while you eat can aid in both your awareness and your confidence.  Having the confidence to question how your meal is prepared and to ask for substitutions can make all the difference in your success.  Plus, by having a pleasant conversation while you eat you will find that you eat less and feel more relaxed.  It really helps to give both your body and your mind the time to agree when you are full without needlessly continuing to eat and stuffing yourself.

Eating out every day can be a blessing.  It offers both variety and companionship.  However, it can be your worst nightmare, fraught with temptations and opportunities for unhealthy choices. Your plans for losing weight can still prevail but you must remain diligent and mindful of your choices.

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