Planning For Restaurant Eating Adapted from Tom VenUto's Body Fat Solution

Making poor choices at restaurants is by far the most expedient way to sabotage your weight loss results. Eating out frequently in restaurants correlates to higher body fat, and it makes more sense when you look at the evolution of our food habits.

  • 19% - the average food budget for eating out in 1955
  • 41% - the average food budget today
  • 30-40% - N.A. Population classified as either overweight or obese today
  • 700 kcal - avg. slice of cheesecake at a restaurant
  • 1200-1500 kcal - average prime rib or porterhouse steak
  • 2740 kcal - worst nachos according to Men's Health magazine
  • 4.2 - avg. number of meals eaten out per person, per week

A calorie bomb like this could undermine every nutritious homemade meal you ate and everything you did in the gym all week! Now multiply that by 4 (avg. # of meals eaten out per week)

Bottom line: the more meals you make at home, the more tightly you control your intake and results. This habit is common to the majority of lean people.

Reframe your goals: instead of obsessing over how many hours of training or calories you're burning every week, you may benefit more by challenging yourself to eat out less week after week.

  1. Start with low-kcal salads instead of deep fried appetizers
  2. Avoid deep fried entrées in general
  3. Ask the wait staff not to leave the bread basket
  4. Ask your server if you're not sure how something is prepared, especially about extra sauces, oil, butter, or other hidden kcals
  5. Look up menus and kcal information online to make decisions in advance
  6. If you don't know how many kcals are in it, don't eat it
  7. Choose grilled chicken or lean fish for protein. You can measure out your higher fat meats at home
  8. Choose lean sirloins or filets and get keep the portions close to what's normal for you (e.g. 5-6 oz)
  9. Order steamed veggies as side dishes
  10. Steamed rice can be a great carb option because it generally doesn't have hidden fat or sugar kcals
  11. Order fresh fruit for dessert
  12. Split more traditional restaurant fair with a friend
  13. Don't clean your plate - take a doggy bag home
  14. Eat until you are 80% full. Never stuff yourself
  15. Avoid buffets like the plague! If you go out to one with friends, order a la carte

Weekends: A study conducted at Washington University and published in the journal Obesity, found that changes in schedule, meals, and lifestyle behaviours on weekends were enough to cause weight gain or slow down in weight loss for the entire week. Many people can't figure out why they don't get results when it seems like they put in so much effort all week long. The answer is that two days of indulgence can undo five days of work.

This means it's an uphill battle then, right? No, it just means you should take two steps forward for every step back - not the other way around.

One last thing: many people who fail to understand the underlying reasons for your fitness journey will tell you "live a little" or "you only live once". Here's the rub, life is a lot shorter for overweight, obese, or otherwise inactive, unhealthy individuals. And I agree, YOLO - therefore, you better make the most of your life. That doesn't mean crowding into buffets along with all the other livestock and sitting on your butt all day "taking it easy". Life is about being different, expressing yourself, chasing dreams, proving the naysayers wrong, and taking pride in hard work. At the end of the day, YOLO is just another excuse for short term indulgence over long term goals.

You can make excuses, or you can get results, but you can't do both.


Created with images by Strangely-Brown - "Beaujolais Restaurant, Bath" • Peter-Ashley - "NACHOS !!!" • snowpea&bokchoi - "homemade AfternoonTea" • snowpea&bokchoi - "Homemade Peppers & Chicken" • snowpea&bokchoi - "Homemade BBQ Marinating Steak" • stevepb - "kitchen scale weighing baking" • Romi - "horizontal weigh calories" • hojaleaf - "IMG_5246"

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