Diets can often fail because of something as simple as overeating. Eating too much in one setting gives the body more than it needs right at this moment, so it has to store all the extra stuff as fat and flab.
Most people are most tempted to over eat when they’re at a restaurant. This happens for a number of reasons.
It can be hard to decide what to get. There’s so much great tasting food to choose from that making up your mind can be hard. And some of us don’t, instead we just order a little of everything. Appetizers are always an easy way to sneak an entire extra meal into your dinner. It’s not exactly the best way to lose weight.
Some restaurants offer special deals so that you can combine multiple entrée into one massive platter so that you get a little of everything. Maybe throw a nice creamy soup into the mix, or try something off a friend’s plate. The best restaurants also have tons of side-dish options; some of the deluxe side dishes are almost filling enough to be their own meal.
Then of course there’s always dessert. But if you share a triple fudge brownie and ice cream with a friend, then it barely even counts; right?
Also, you feel that if you’re paying a lot of money for your dinner you should eat it all to get your money’s worth. But don’t fall into that trap. You’re paying your money to enjoy the food and feel satisfied. You aren’t getting “more for your money” by stuffing yourself until you’re miserable.
Treating ourselves to an occasional special meal, and going on a five course marathon of over-indulgence are two entirely different things. Yes, even people on a diet should be allowed to go out to eat every now and then. But you shouldn’t be so obsessed with “making the most out of it” that the special occasion single-handedly destroys weeks of hard work.
A lot of the time, restaurant goers will even eat to the point of physical discomfort and mild pain. Why? What was the point of doing that? You went out to enjoy yourself and stuffed yourself to the point of agony. There are much cheaper ways to make yourself feel uncomfortable.
Eating so much that you make yourself feel sick ruins the meal anyway, so why do it? Believe it or not; ordering smaller portions can not only help with your dieting effort, but it may even make eating out more enjoyable. Imaging finishing a meal and thinking “Wow, that was really good!” instead of “Unggghhh…..I’m stuffed!”
When ordering at a restaurant, the goal should be to order exactly how much you’re comfortable eating right then and there. No busting at the seams, no physical pain, and no taking leftovers home because the meal so huge.
A good first step can be to stop ordering appetizers with the belief that it’s anything more than a second meal packed into one. If you want something to wet your appetite, try a nice salad. For the entrée, some restaurants will offer special deals on half portions. This way you can also save some extra money in the process.
Finally, don’t feel guilty if you leave food on your plate. We were told as kids that this is wasteful. But starving children in other parts of the world will not be any better off if you overeat. There is not direct correlation no matter what your mother told you. Enjoy your dinner out with friends. But try to order only enough to feel full. And stop eating when you’re satisfied.