100 lb. Club - I hate going out to eat

View Full Version : I hate going out to eat

02-23-2010, 10:17 AM
There I've said it. I hate checking the menu like I'm walking through a minefield. I hate spending 5 minutes explaining how I want something cooked and then having it come out swimming in oil anyway. I'm not the kind of person who has to micro-manage every detail of the meal--oh, wait yes I am and I don't want to be like that. Restaurants of America--you've made me become someone I don't recognise.

I used to go out to eat at the drop of a hat and now when my husband suggests going out, I say I'll cook instead. Which makes him grumpy because I don't cook the way I used to. And I hate watching him consume 2500-3000 calories in a restaurant. If I tell him what he is taking in, I'm being judgemental and if I keep my mouth shut how is he to know how bad it is? So that makes me grumpy.

Rant over. I went out to dinner for my birthday last night and I really didn't want to and I didn't have a good time. (I didn't choose the place.)

02-23-2010, 10:26 AM
I know exactly how you feel, especially because going out to eat is a horrible trigger for me and I usually go off plan afterward. I hate not knowing the exact nutritional information for everything I eat, and the outrageous sodium content in everything drives me bonkers! :dizzy:

Thighs Be Gone
02-23-2010, 10:30 AM
You didn't choose the place??? On your birthday??? Wth?

02-23-2010, 10:42 AM
ya, how come you didn't get to pick for your birthday??? HAPPY BIRTHDAY BTW!!!

I'm a renegade, I LOVE going out to eat!! yay! I love the ritual of getting together with a group of friends, and I don't really care what I eat (i don't mean I don't care as in I'll get something horrible LOL) I mean, practically everywhere has a big salad with grilled chicken. Done! Or a small steak with veg on the side, done! Clear soup and salad for lunch, or even a lean roast beef sandwich is ok. It's too much fun going out to not go???? now i"m sad :(

02-23-2010, 10:45 AM
I completely understand. I have been to two restaurants since I started losing weight. Both times I didn't want to go... but the first time my step-dad insisted he was taking us out to eat when we came to visit (I did ask if my mom and I could cook together and he said he wanted to treat myself and my husband). The second time was also with my mom and step-dad, but for her birthday so she chose where she wanted to go. I tread carefully both times, but I much prefer to just eat at home where I can prepare what I want, the way I want it.

ps - Happy belated Birthday!!

02-23-2010, 10:55 AM
Happy Birthday!

That's a bummer that you didn't even get to choose on your own birthday, even if you didn't want to go out, if you wanted to stay in and cook, your choice!

I'm like the previous poster, I love going out to eat. Maybe that's my problem ;) One trick I use it to pick something out and ask for a to go box right away. I put half of it in the box and I eat some. I tend to share my meal with my son, so I never eat half alone anyway. I know that it may not be the best for me, but cutting it in half right of the bat is better for me.

02-23-2010, 10:57 AM
We went to a place my husband had been wanting to try and hadn't been able to get to (because I kept planning/cooking) so I gave in.

He hates any fuss or bother so after I detailed how to cook my order, I didn't want to embarass him by sending it back. So I just ate the bare minimum I could get by with and hit the gym for a good workout this morning.

Maybe the whole reason for my rant is that I am STARVING even after eating my regular breakfast. I'm going to go eat some greek yogurt and maybe I'll feel better.

02-23-2010, 11:24 AM
Nada, I agree. I used to love going out to eat, and now I don't enjoy it much. What's discouraging is that a lot of restaurants have so few decent choices on the menu, and why is that? A lot of times even the "good" choices are altered in such a way that they aren't good any more.

I MUCH prefer the food I cook at home-- it's not just healthier, it's MUCH tastier.

02-23-2010, 11:29 AM
Happy birthday!

See now I'm a total brat and I would have said "It's my birthday I'll do what I want". I agree with you on hating going out to eat. My hubby is fully anticipating going rock climbing or some other thing on my birthday instead of the traditional 2-3 meals in restaurants. I've had waiters look at me like I'm nuts when I ask how things are cooked, ask if they can steam my veggies instead of using oil, etc. I don't know if it's because I still have a ways to go and they are wondering what the fat girl is doing playing at healthy, if they wonder why I didn't just stay home if I didn't want their food their way, or what. Then half the time it comes out wrong. My hubby doesn't say anything, but I know he is slightly embarrassed by my sending things back. There was one restaurant (lucky for him, hubby was not there) that got my order wrong 3 times. I finally told them, nevermind, just remove it from the bill. They tried to argue about that, but I won. There are a couple places I can go that I know they will do what I ask or that I know of things that are healthy enough to get straight off the menu. If I am stuck going somewhere else then I do like Trazey and stick to salad and chicken or something similar. I'd much rather just stay home with my chicken, turkey, foreman grill, and veggie steamer bowl.

02-23-2010, 11:52 AM
I haven't been going out to restaurants too much but I try to not get overly obsessed when I do. I do my best to order healthy but I worry more about limiting portion sizes, which I can control, than getting too caught up in having them cook things a special way.

One big difference is that I used to love bringing home leftovers. But now I generally don't - I don't mean I eat my whole meal if it's a big portion, I still focus on the amount I eat. But I just leave the rest (and have the waiter clear my place if I think I will keep eating) because I'd rather not have a second meal of food I didn't prepare myself and which may have hidden oils or butter, etc. So I let myself enjoy the one portion out, but not keep going from there and repeating it the next day.

Gourmet Bean
02-23-2010, 12:04 PM
Happy birthday!!!

I love going out to eat. I share a lot with my boyfriend (who can eat and eat and it goes nowhere... ugh) and also take at least half home. I also try and find something that is more health conscious than a giant burger or something of that nature. Getting a take home box right away is really helpful to keep me from picking at my food while waiting for the box.

Maybe your hubby has it out of his system and won't want to go again for a while. He needs a friend he can meet for lunch or something if he feels the need to go out to eat so you can stay back and eat what you prefer the way you prefer it.

02-23-2010, 12:47 PM
I don't really care to go out either, but it has happened a few times. It is scary...I live where salmon and halibut abound, and the halibut is ALWAYS fried and put in a fish-n-chips basket unless you're at an outrageous restaurant. The salmon is kind of hit-or-miss how it is prepared. Usually I end up with a salad of some kind, which is okay, but I could have done that at home for less money. :)

02-23-2010, 01:05 PM
Happy Birthday!

I feel your pain, my friends give me an eye roll and say I make them feel bad for ordering my food without oil, salt or extra seasoning with everything on the side but no bread, cheese,croutons or bacon. Substitute the bad with steamed veggies . Drink water or unsweet tea. But its my health and body so they can stick it!

02-23-2010, 04:25 PM
I know, I don't want to be picky, finicky or demanding. I just want to live in a world where you can order a meal in a restaurant and get a sensible portion of healthy food without a lot of fuss and bother. Sigh. So where do I have to move?

traci in training
02-23-2010, 04:47 PM
Well, today is my birthday and I LOVE going out to eat! Most places are very nice about fixing things to suit me and I can almost always get a lean protein (fish right now), some veggies, and a salad. Or a cup of soup and a salad. Or I share something with DH. I'm thinking the Bonefish Grill for tonight. Grouper or trout sounds good.

Gourmet Bean
02-23-2010, 05:03 PM
Anyone ever heard of Sweet Tomatoes? They're a fantastic place to eat out. They're a salad bar type place, but you can also order prepared or tossed salads. They have a "bakery" area with things that are low-fat and like 95% fat free. They also have meals of vegetarian pastas and soups (and some that include meat for us that aren't so vegetarian). It's a great place to meet up with friends but still stay health conscious.

02-23-2010, 05:05 PM
Happy Belated Birthday!

Sorry to hear it wasn't a good time for you though. I do actually still enjoy going out to eat by planning well in advance and I don't deter much for what I usually order lol I am not much for cooking so I would rather eat out.

02-23-2010, 05:18 PM
Happy birthday!!!

Getting a take home box right away is really helpful to keep me from picking at my food while waiting for the box.

This really works for me. I have even gone so far as getting the take out box right after i get my meal, divying it up, putting half in the take out box and taking and putting in the trunk of the car and then coming back in to enjoy my normal size portion!.

And can I just say...your hubby sounds like a pain in the a@@.
We need to have a specific post for dealing with people that aren't super helpful on our plan.

02-23-2010, 05:20 PM
Anyone ever heard of Sweet Tomatoes? They're a fantastic place to eat out. They're a salad bar type place, but you can also order prepared or tossed salads. They have a "bakery" area with things that are low-fat and like 95% fat free. They also have meals of vegetarian pastas and soups (and some that include meat for us that aren't so vegetarian). It's a great place to meet up with friends but still stay health conscious.

Oh, I miss Sweet Tomatoes. We don't have them here.

I actually enjoy going out to eat more now than I did at my high weight, mostly because I don't feel as self-conscious. When I was a size 22 I just assumed everyone in the place was thinking, "Why is that girl eating at all? She could live off her own body fat for weeks." So now, at least, I don't feel like people are staring and judging me. (I realize that was all in my head, yes.)

02-23-2010, 05:36 PM
I prefer making my own food... but I do enjoy eating out on occasion. But I do tend to have the best weight loss results if I stay away from the overly salty, overly fatty and overly large restaurant meals.

When I do go out, I try to always get veggies for my sides. I used to always get mac & cheese, but not so much anymore. 2 veggies! If the portions are very large, I'll take home the rest and usually my husband will eat it later. I can't bring myself to let the waiter take it as we are very cost conscious these days and waste not! When possible, my husband and I usually try to split a meal, and order an extra house salad if it comes with it. I tend to get a lot of fish and chicken that's not breaded & fried, or loaded with cheese and creamy sauces. Occasionally a small 6oz or less steak. Drink: water with lemon or unsweet iced tea -- NO SODA!

I still have moments of weakness but overall I am getting much better about eating out. It's almost to the point where I don't even think about ordering the unhealthy thing. Does Not Compute.

02-23-2010, 07:28 PM
Michelle - I take my own take away dish so that I don't have to wait for them to bring one and then I go put the half I've put in it in the car before I start eating. So, you aren't the craziest one, lol.

I want a Sweet Tomatoes. I've never been to one and looking online they don't have them here, grrr. However, there is one with a good rating in the city that hubby and I want to move to once he is no longer government property. WooHoo!! Just one more thing to make me not be able to wait for then.

02-23-2010, 07:35 PM
Happy Happy Birfday! :D

I dread going out to eat. I always check online for nutritional information before I go and yet I still feel antsy. Even though I pick out what I want to eat in advance, I always worry I will not be able to resist the bread and all the other potential landmines. Sigh.....I hope one day it will get easier!

02-23-2010, 07:43 PM
I always get the soup when eating out, especially if it's vegetarian. Unless it's potato, it's hard to get more than 400 calories into a bowl of vegetables. If nothing is vegetarian, I get something chicken-broth based and have them hold any toppings. It's no muss, no fuss. If there's nothing I can eat-or want to eat--I get coffee..

For me, I had to get over a life time of conditioning that going out to eat was an Event and that it was important to have an amazing food experience, because otherwise it was some sort of tragically wasted opportunity. I used to get really nervous and worked up over what to order because I wanted to find something that I could eat and would really enjoy. It got much easier when I realized "screw that, I'm here for the company, not the food, it doesn't matter if I even like it". So I quit treating what to order like an Epic Decision and just started picking a soup more or less at random.

As far as your husband's eating habits--I'd let that go. It really isn't your problem, and you may wish you had the power to change him, but you don't--any more than you have the power to cure cancer or stop war. It's just not something you can do, so you need to stop feeling like you can, or that you've failed if you don't. The only thing you'll do is poison your marriage, and for no reason--it won't make him any healthier, and might make him worse. He will come to it in his own time, or not. But all you can do is be a good (silent) example and answer any questions he asks.

So next time he wants to go out to eat, say "I can't spare the calories, but I'd love to drink a cup of coffee/sip a diet soda and chat with you while you eat", and once you are there, don't look at the menu or comment on food. This feels really, really weird the first few times, but it is so empowering once it is comfortable.

02-23-2010, 08:41 PM
happy bday!

I love going out to eat. But I guess I don't have the dinner companion problem you do. The restaurant we most go to lately is Japanese food -- so I'm in hog heaven with many healthy rolls to pick from and DH is happy with many bento box choices and a good wine selection.

Are there any restaurants around that are a "good compromise" for both of you?

The other place we like is California Pizza Kitchen because I can get some good salads and he can have pizza if he wants that.

When it is more than just our immediate family (6 year old usually shares my plate) I suggest things like Sweet Tomatoes where everyone has a good chance of getting something they like.


02-23-2010, 08:51 PM
We have nearly stopped eating out, because of the price. The one place we were going to is no longer a problem either, because I discovered how to make healthy Sushi at home.

If we do end up going out, I always blow my calorie budget. I am glad you ladies have found ways to maintain that, and I will try a few of the suggestions next time.

02-25-2010, 10:03 AM
Update. I suggested (and he agreed) to call that meal "Valentine's Day" because we didn't celebrate it on the day of, because we took his Mom out for her birthday the night before. So now we can celebrate my birthday with a meal at a restaurant of my choosing next week--and I HOPE I can find somewhere that doesn't put 3 TBSPS (!) of oil on SPINACH. Sweet Tomatoes sounds good, I wish we had one here.

02-25-2010, 10:21 AM
I wish I could say that yes, going out to eat is just a social experience, but I've found that, no, it isn't.

If the restaurant is good, or quite an authentic ethnic experience -- and we have a lot of those down here in & near Manhattan -- then restaurant-going is more of a cultural event, almost like attending a museum or a concert, or like out-of-the-country travel, because you're being immersed in a culture & admiring someone's artistry in the medium of food.

This is when restaurant-going becomes really, really fraught for me. I have to close off part of myself: the part that used to enjoy these sorts of forays because of my intellectual & sensory curiosity & my desire to immerse myself fully in life experiences.

If I do not participate at all, I sit there & feel like some kind of religious ascetic, foreswearing all such pleasures in the name of mortification of the body. Then, all I am allowed is to smell & look at what comes to the table. And my interactions with the others become strange.

The only saving grace is that, the better the restaurant, the easier it is to order healthily or to order off-menu, because the place may very well be serving dieting actors or models every night.

Still, there's a lot I am not participating in any more, even as I'm sitting in the middle of these amazing places enjoying the ambience & the occasional well-known face. What I hate is that it makes me feel sorry for myself, and that is not a healthy place to live in mentally.