The topic of discussion for our blogging weight loss group is “eating healthy on the go.” Unfortunately, I don’t really have any great words of wisdom about this. Here is what I have found about eating on the go:
- At home I mostly drink water (as a general rule, I don’t keep pop/soda on hand at home), but at restaurants, I’m much more likely to fall back into the habit of drinking my coke or mountain dew.
- Most restaurant meals that I eat have around 1,000-1,500 calories. For one meal. My daily intake of calories should be 1,300-1,500. Do you see a problem here? Even places with good quality, healthier choices aren’t great for me because when I add a salad w/ a little bit of dressing, 2-3 rolls, and a Mountain Dew to that 550 calorie O’Charley’s bruschetta chicken…I end up with 1,200 calorie bruschetta chicken.
- Overall, food choices on the go are less healthy and more tempting. At home, I have control over my options—I simply buy healthier stuff, and leave out the bad stuff. It requires much less thought and will power to eat healthy. When we stop off at the convenient store for a snack on the drive to Illinois (the trip that single-handedly ambushed my last diet attempt), it’s so tempting and easy to grab a candy bar instead of whatever healthy and tasteless option happens to be there. That’s just real life for me.
So, how do I eat healthy on the go? I don’t.
For Lent this year, I chose to give up eating out. Entirely. I realized that my family had fallen into the habit of eating out more often than we would like. It’s expensive, unhealthy, and mostly not conducive to quality family time. Because of all this, I felt like all of my eating out was standing in the way of my honoring God the way I need to. It’s been great! Since Easter, I have eaten out a couple of times for date night (since poor hubby didn’t get to go out to eat on date night during the time I was fasting), but that’s it, and it has felt great.
So, how do I avoid eating out?
I promise you it’s possible. If I can do it, anyone can! All it takes is a bit of planning.
- Timing is everything. Before I started fasting, I would find myself planning our trips and errands to be around lunchtime so we could go out to eat for lunch. I have said before that I struggled with food addiction, and eating out played into that. I had begun to crave all that greasy fried take-out food. Now, we run errands between breakfast and lunch, or after lunch.
- Pack a picnic. We can’t always be home at lunchtime, so on the days that we’re going to be gone at lunchtime, we pack a picnic lunch usually coupled with a trip to the park.
- Meal Plan. There are still those times that are inconvenient—Sunday after church, Wednesday nights trying to eat around church, busy evening nights. The way I combat that is through meal planning. I have found that if I have a plan, I’m more likely to stick with it. And, I can account for my lack of time and plan for leftovers, or a quick and easy meal on those days when I’m crunched for time.
- Road Trips. For road trips, we can pack a picnic lunch, and plenty of snacks. Fruit, crackers, even 90 calorie brownies or 100 calorie snack packs are better than a candy bar at the store.
I know it seems daunting at first, but I promise you that if I can do it, anyone can do it! I read a great quote the other day: “If it’s important to you, you will find a way. If it’s not, you’ll find an excuse.” I thought that was really fitting for me. For so long, I found every excuse in the world to eat out, and to splurge on convenient store foods. But when I started fasting, I found a way not to.
Disclaimer: I know there are healthy options, and a lot of people who have the will-power to choose them. This is just what works for me. Mainly because if I’m going to pay to eat out, I want it to be something I like and enjoy…I think it’s a frugal thing!
My progress. I’ve decided to just list my weight instead of the # of pounds lost and pounds to go and all that. So, here goes:
Heaviest Weight: 201.8 (I am 5’6″, so this put me in the category of being medically OBESE)
Current Weight: 187.2
First Goal: 185 (this gets me out of the obese category…only 2.2 pounds to go!!!)
Final Goal: 135 (this is in the middle of the recommended weight for my height, which is 115-145)