Dining out is a great adventure with friends, family, colleagues, and business partners as a way to spend time building relationships by sharing information. It is a way for people to get to know each other and learn about their motivations and goals. Dining out can still be included in an intense training program as long as a few key points are addressed in the meal selection. For the people that want to lose weight, it is very important to check the amount of calories in the meal that is being ordered along with the carbohydrates, proteins, and fats included. The reason why this must be addressed is because the goal in weight loss is to place your body in a calorie deficit to force your body to burn fat calories as a usable source of energy since 1 gram of fat contains 9 calories of usable energy. It is very tempting to go along with what other people who are dining with you are eating, but remember that you are the one who is training to lose weight. This requires discipline and will power to resist the temptation of getting the high calorie, great tasting selections that everyone else is going with. So, how do you resist? A simple answer is to think about all the energy you put into your workouts. Think about the sweat, sore muscles, and sense of accomplishment that you felt after that workout as your reward, not as eating whatever you want as a treat for your hard work. The hard work that you do should not be a reason why you overeat or splurge on that heavy meal while dining out and going extra on the dessert. That workout should be the reason why you declined or you ask for a half serving or get a to go box and immediately split up that heavy meal if you must have it. By splitting the heavy meal you will not consume more calories at that dining time than is needed. In addition, studies have shown that people tend to eat more while dining out since they are normally around food for a greater period of time in a social gathering with the ability to reach out and grab whatever is on the table. A few ways to control that overeating is to eat slow and chew foods very well to assist with digestion, and pay attention to the conversation or experience so that you are not just focused on placing food in your mouth (www.onlymyhealth.com).
Moreover, in a study about eating out, the study examined that association of body mass index (BMI) and weight gain with eating at restaurants or eating at work in 10 European countries. The results showed that the subjects caloric intake was greater in restaurant dining in comparison to eating meals at work. The study found that among men, eating at restaurants was associated with higher BMI and possibly weight gain (Eating out, weight and weight gain. A cross-sectional and prospective analysis in the context of the EPIC-PANACEA study, International Journal of Obesity, 2011, March, 35(3):416-426). Therefore, men really focus on the controlling what you are consuming while dinning out at those restaurants, and ladies, you are not off the hook, or getting a free pass, you do the same. Be aware of the temptation to splurge and use your workouts as a motivation to resist!