When I went to Veggie Grill with Ian a couple evenings ago, I ordered a kale Caesar salad. It was not a very big salad, and it consisted of chopped kale, 10 croutons, a creamy vegan dressing with vegan parmesan cheese, and a bit of seitan the size of a thumbnail.
Even though it tasted good, I was surprised and horrified to discover online what I had just eaten: 750 calories (1/3 of my usual 2000 calories a day in one pretty small dish); 1060 mg of sodium (my daily max) and 65 fat grams. (ditto). Yikes, no wonder it’s healthier to cook your own meals! If I had stayed home, I would have eaten no more than 500 calories and much less fat and salt.
In 2015, American’s spent more on restaurants than on groceries,– it is no wonder so many of us struggle to lose weight!
I have many clients who eat out regularly, either because they have lunch and dinner meetings or work are at the office all day. A good solution is to bring your own lunch and snacks to work when you can. My clients who do this find a great relief in having their meals and snacks decided hours before they get hungry. This ensures healthier foods and less of the vending machine/ restaurant impulse choices. One woman who called me about losing weight lost 5 lbs right away after she started bringing her lunch and snacks to work, which inspired her to start exercising again.
I had a client who hated these evening work dinners, but he felt he had to go – he even organized a lot of them because he felt he must. We talked about how, if he hated them, probably everyone else hated them too, and everyone undoubtedly wanted to go home early to their families. They probably also would prefer not to eat a drawn out, heavy meal out. So why not just have hors d’oeuvres together – or even a good walk to discuss or just get to know each other?
In a social context, I prefer to go for walks with my friends than sit at a restaurant or coffee shop. There is more quality time and focus on each other, and I am exhilarated at the end because I was outside and moving instead of sitting the whole time.
Our culture has moved away from our home kitchens. It will take awareness and planning to make more of our own meals, especially when we work long and hard outside the home all day. But it is worth it – for your health, your weight and your well being.