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I’m eating out

A couple of my interviewees told me that when they eat out they would never consider searching out the healthier options on the menu. One of them said, “If I’m going out I want to enjoy it”. The implication being: forget enjoying the company of the people you’re with, forget about soaking up the atmosphere, it’s all about the food.

Do you see eating out as a break from “normal” eating? It’s not, it’s still just choosing food and feeding your body. Your body doesn’t process the food eaten in restaurants any differently to the food you eat at home.

So whilst you might not want to abstain totally from all the goodies on offer, you don’t have to have everything you like. You don’t have to have several pieces of bread from the bread basket before the starter has arrived, you don’t have to choose three unhealthy courses, you don’t have to order a side dish of fries to accompany a generously sized main course, you don’t have to steal fries off your partner’s plate, you don’t have to eat everything on your plate(s) once you’re full.

Instead, try reaching a compromise with yourself. If you want a burger, have it without the bun, ask for salad instead of fries, or share a portion of fries. If you want a dessert, don’t have a starter. If you want a stodgy main course have a salad for starter. Make some healthy choices to give yourself permission to enjoy an unhealthy one. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

And don’t be afraid to ask for a variation on whatever’s listed on the menu – you’re the paying customer and restaurants should be happy to accommodate you – salad with dressing on the side, steak without sauce, dessert without extra cream?

If you liked this sample chapter you can buy the “What’s Your Excuse…..?” books here