Jan 19, 2010

Day 30 - The Beck Diet Solution

On Day 30 Beck focuses on Eating Out and sticking your diet.

I don't have my book with me so I don't have any quotes for you, but I can give you a pretty good overview.

Beck says not to avoid eating out. Like everything else she has tried to teach us, she wants us to practice eating out in a non stressful situation, with a friend or family member where we won't feel any pressure.  She also recommends practicing ordering food the way you want it, so you will build confidence and not feel intimidated by servers or pressured by your dining companions.

Her recommendations are pretty much what I've learned at Weight Watchers through the years. I'm adding a few of my own techniques in here as well.

  1. If possible, review the menu ahead of time and decide what you're going to eat and then you don't even need to look at the menu.
  2. If you can't review the menu, make a decision about what you will order in a general way, i.e. fish and salad, pasta with tomato sauce - that way when you are faced with the menu you are only looking for food that fits your criteria.
  3. Don't eat any bread brought to the table. If you want an appetizer, have a clear soup or a salad with dressing on the side and dip your fork into it rather than pour it over your salad.
  4. Eat a small meal before going so you won't get hungry while you're waiting for your meal. In large groups, you can wait up to an hour for your food to actually arrive.
  5. Be assertive, but polite. Order your food the way you want it, i.e. grilled with no oil, vegetables without butter.
  6. Eat only half the portion. Either take the rest home for another meal, or leave it.
  7. Order two appetizers instead of an appetizer and an entree.
  8. Share a dessert with 2 others and have two bites only.
  9. Focus on eating mindfully, eat slowly and stop before full.
  10. Plan to eat up to 25% more calories for the eating out meal than you would for the same meal eaten at home.
  11. Drink lots of water to help flush out the excess sodium in restaurant food.
  12. Focus on the company and conversation, make the food incidental.
Some of these habits I learned early on and still do on a regular basis, even though I only eat out 1-2 times a month now, compared to 1-2 times a week about a year ago.  The biggest habits are eating only half the meal and only having two bites of dessert.  I remember at Weight Watcher meeting I went to years ago and leader said something like, "Two bites of dessert is enough to know what it tastes like. The next bites aren't going to taste better than the first two. After that, you're eating it just because it's there" and for some strange reason, that has always stuck with me.

How do you handle eating out? Do you find you eat out alot less, more or the same now you are trying to lose weight and get healthier?


  1. Here we stick with one of three options for eating out- Golden Corral, Sweet Tomatoes or the deli at our produce store.We have not been very big about eating out , mainly for economic reasons. Golden Corral gets a thumbs up because it has the best options for veggies at a buffet. Sweet Tomatoes is the worlds largest salad and soup bar with baked goods. They use very small bowls or the soups/pasta/muffin part so you always feel like you are eating more of these than you really are and it is all very healthy. The grocery store option happens because of time factor for us, and you can get a sandwich, pizza slice, salad or soup, prepared in their kitchen and very good.With each of these places you pretty much choose what you want on it, what quantity and so forth.

  2. Honestly right now we don't eat out as we are trying to be frugal.

    But if I get fast food it is Subway.

    I like to stick with soup and salad when I am out, though or a chicken dish.

  3. I never order dessert most of the times when eating out, simply because the desserts on the menu here in Holland aren't that spectacular and I can do that better myself. So I always have an appetizer and an entree. Have to say that I don't eat out that often so I don't think too much about what I eat then.

  4. I'll admit I do tend to avoid restaurants a lot more when I am trying to stay on plan. But if I have to go or really want to go, I try really hard to only go places I can look up the NI on before hand and choose before I go. I love this actually! Walking into a restaurant knowing exactly what I'm going to have and exactly how many points I'm going to burn makes everything taste that much better.

  5. Eating out is definitely not as good for us, and way more expensive... but it's EASIER sometimes, isn't it?

    Great job trying to eat in more. My wife and I are "battling" this habit as well.... glad to see we're not the only ones.


  6. Those are terrific points. I don't struggle with eating out that much unless it's a fast-food type restaurant without many healthy items on the menu. Generally, when I eat out, I look over the menu and choose the healthiest option -like fish or chicken. Unfortunately, I'm not good about "special ordering". I just take the dish as is! The bread basket is a bit of a challenge - I send that to the other side of the table. Overall, since I don't go out to eat much, I just enjoy what I order, but try to only eat until satisfied.

  7. I think the passing on the bread is key. Sometimes it seems you can cut your cals for the whole mean in half by passing on a few rolls or fajita shells, whatver the case may be. And once passing becomes habit, it's not that hard to do. Well..it might be hard at Red Lobster. Ever had their cheese biscuits? :)

  8. Great advice...if you can listen to it. I'm a weakling when it comes to restaurant eating. I just don't want to pay for "healthy" food at a restaurant. I would rather pay for exactly what I want which is usually not low cal. So I don't go out that much.

    I know that's a really stupid way to look at it, but until my malfunctioning brain changes...not much eating out for me.

  9. Reviewing the menu before I go and eating something before so I'm not starving have SAVED me when it comes to eating out.

  10. I went out for lunch three times this week and did just fine. I have always found that no matter where I go I can get a steak or grilled chicken with steamed vegetables and a salad. I just put on my blinders when it comes to the not so healthy choices.

    Hope all is well...you haven't posted for a few days.

  11. Hey,
    had to change my blog around. re-add me to the blogs you're following!

  12. Where are you? I miss you. Are you okay?

  13. Oh, Enz, it's been too long! I am finally all caught up on your blog and just wanted to let you know that I am proud of you for doing so well over the holidays and during these first few weeks of January. Great job!!!

  14. Those are great tips for eating out. I find that when I don't plan ahead, I fail horribly!