Many of my clients, friends and me myself have to eat out on a regular basis. Most of my clients have work functions at least once or twice a week. They have lunch out with clients, are on the road for work and socialise with colleagues.
I hear, ‘I couldn’t eat well because I had to eat out’, nearly every single day. I had one client who was on the road six months of every year. He stayed in hotels and ate at restaurants one hundred and eight two and a half days a year.
He would lose a few pounds over three weeks training with me, and then gain them all back as soon as he had to go away on business. Then we’d start the same process all over again. It was infuriating for us both. We used to discuss different strategies – like staying in self-catered accommodation while away. But, even when he did that, he’d have to eat out nearly every night with the clients and colleagues that he was visiting.
I finally had the revelation I needed when I went on a five-day training course to learn improved fat loss techniques for my clients. I was two weeks away from the final photos for the transformation photos you can see below. I knew I couldn’t spend a whole week eating junk. I had to make it work.
I set out on that trip with the mindset that I would make it work. However hard it was, I was going to eat healthily.
It was the easiest week of my life.
I came back from that week, leaner than when I went away. Actually, I was quite a lot leaner. I realised that eating out, didn’t need to mean the end of my results. It accelerated them. All I did was follow these five simple rules:
1. Order a meat or fish based dish
There’s always steak or chicken on a menu, and always at least one fish dish. I often order the burger if it’s a nice restaurant that I know will have decent quality mince.
This was definitely a meat option...
2. Replace the carbs with a salad or mixed vegetables
When a dish comes with fries or mashed potatoes or something similar, just ask for it to be replaced with a salad or mixed vegetables.
3. Order water
Don’t order any drink that contains calories. Get still or sparkling water. Pretty simple but it can be hard to do if everyone is drinking. If you really can’t stand up to a little peer pressure then pretend you are driving.
4. Order the sauce on the side
It’s hard to tell what is in a sauce, or to know how much of it you’ll be served. Asking for it on the side will allow you to use just the amount that you want.
Sauce on the side and a glass of water
5. Choose before hand
Choosing your food before you go to the restaurant is a great idea. You choose the best options for you, while you’re not hungry or tired. Have a little look in the morning and commit to what you want before you go.
Eating out meant I got amazing food, cooked for me. I didn’t have to plan recipes or buy ingredients. I didn’t have to think about which foods might be going out of date. I didn’t have to spend hours cooking every week. I realised that it was easier to eat healthily when I was eating at restaurants. Once I re-framed the problem of eating out, it all became easy.
And as for my client? Once he re-framed his meals out as an opportunity to eat really well, thinks started clicking in to place and he started sending me photos of all of the amazing, healthy food that he was eating on a regular basis at restaurants.
So next time you’ve got to eat out, just remember, that’s your opportunity to have a chef buy, organise and cook you amazing healthy food while you relax and enjoy yourself.