Dining out is one of the activities that many people in the United States and elsewhere enjoy the most. However, there are some risks and downsides associated with this fun social activity. In addition to the costs associated with dining out, which tend to be much higher than those associated with cooking your own food, much of the food that you’ll eat at a restaurant is generally less healthy.
If you spend a lot of time and money dining out, you may be setting yourself up for a difficult time if you try to go on a diet. While it’s true that it’s possible to continue your diet in a successful way while you’re eating out of the home, many people find that it’s easier to ditch dining out altogether if they’re trying to lose a few pounds.
Why Dining out Harms Your Diet
Dining out is bad for your diet in several ways. Much of the food that you eat when you’re dining out is high in sugar, fat, calories or other potentially bad ingredients. Of course, this is by no means a hard and fast rule, and an increasing number of restaurants throughout the country are making a concerted effort to include healthy alternatives on their menus. However, the majority of dining options at most restaurants are still loaded with calories and fat. The fact that you’re unaware of the nutritional content of the food that you eat when you’re dining out makes it much harder to stick to a strict diet.
Dining out also harms your diet for other, more subtle reasons. The energy that you’ll expend when you cook your own food at home can often amount to a form of light exercise. Being active when you cook helps to burn off calories, which in turn will offset the calories of the food that you eat. You will not get this same activity when you dine out.
Losing Weight by Ditching Restaurant Food
If you decide to ditch restaurant food in order to lose weight, it’s important that you continue to eat healthy meals, even when you’re preparing your own food. Just because you cook for yourself doesn’t necessarily mean it will help you to lose weight. Emphasize vegetables, fruits and light meats like chicken. More importantly than that even, make sure that you carefully monitor your portions to be sure that you aren’t eating too much or too little food. It’s much easier to monitor your portions when you’re cooking for yourself; if you have too much food, simply put some away and save it as leftovers.
To really augment your efforts to lose weight, try incorporating additional exercise into your routine. Burning off more calories through your activity will further help you to lose those few pounds that you might not be able to when dining out.