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Let's talk about going out to eat and over-eating.  I know there can be many, many reasons depending on the individual, but here are some things I know for sure.  This is from my experience and many of the people I work with.

I want to start by saying I love going out to eat and I'm not bashing restaurants by any means.  It's up to us to pick and choose what we eat.

Sugar, Fat, Salt  

I once read eating out at restaurants is where we spend 50% of money from our food budgets.  When we dine out on a regular basis we are consistently consuming extra fat, sugar, and salt.  The more fat, sugar, and salt we eat the more our body wants. Even if we don't normally eat bread, or bread and butter, it's a special occasion because we are out so we slather that butter on that bread. Fried foods are offered in almost every restaurant. Yummy – Right?  Restaurants are also aware of what we love to eat. The combination of sugars, fat, and salt is usually what most are drawn to so why not make the dishes with that combination so we go back again and again for those mouth watering, scrumptious high-fat dishes.  It's our choice to go and eat, so we are 100% responsible.

Be aware - foods aren't always healthy because of their names

Sometimes we think foods are healthy because of their name.  Take Spinach dip as an example.  We say to ourselves – oh that's healthy – spinach.  Here are the main two ingredients in case you're not aware: mayonnaise and sour cream. Healthy? I'd say not.  Sometimes we pick sliced veggies, and that's great, but as soon as we immerse them into the dips and dressing, all of a sudden a 50 calorie snack can become a 500 calorie snack.

At some restaurants you don't even realize your vegetables have been deep fried. I find at some Asian restaurants they fry vegetables and you think you are eating healthy food.  I love Asian food, especially Thai.  I'm just saying beware and ask if you're watching your diet for your own reasons or medical reasons.  Unless the restaurant is known for catering to the health conscious ask what's in certain recipes or how they are made.  I know for me even when I ask for an egg white omelet with veggies, which is so healthy, but question what are they using to make it in?  I always ask if the chef could either coat the pan or use cooking spray.  Reason being is they usually use a ton of butter or oil.  So my perfectly non-fattening, healthy omelet becomes very high in fat.  Just be aware!

When I go out to eat at a diner or some American or Italian restaurants I choose grilled chicken or shrimp Caesar Salad.  I always ask for the dressing on the side or order balsamic vinegar and dip my fork in.  I love places that have a salad bar to first fill up on veggies. I also order lean meats with vegetables.  I pick a baked potato over mashed potatoes and usually only eat half.  I pick chicken over steak.  I pick low-fat or no-fat dressing over the very high fat, high calorie dressings.  I choose grilled over fried.  I choose baked over fried.

I am so happy year by year as I learn more and more about food and life!  I should be so lean by now from all I learned yet it's a constant learning experience. I am human as we all are and the more I learn the better.  I love sharing so you can learn to.  I'd love it if you'd share with me, too.

Be more aware and ask for what you want  

So on that note, go out to eat but be more mind-conscious about it.  Ask if you don't know what's in the food you are ordering.  Most restaurants will accommodate their patrons.

It's okay to request healthy dishes; it's your health and your body.  Take care of it.

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