A whole lot can be said about eating out and taking off weight. The most obvious aspect of the issue, though, is knowing what’s in the food we’re thinking of eating.
In many things, the saying, “You get what you pay for” is true. Higher quality, for the most part, comes at a higher price. But, at the risk of sounding repetitious, what is the goal? If getting rid of hunger pangs is the only thing on the agenda, for example, any old drive-thru will do. If the quality of the dining experience is the top priority, only certain environments will suffice.
It is possible to accommodate both views when working on a long-run scenario. One meal does not a program make or break. A few thoughts to keep in mind, though:
Being able to know and control what ingredients are in the food you eat is one of the most important aspects of the eating-out-losing-weight question. The healthier the ingredients, the better your chances of sticking to your eating program, whether eating out or preparing the food yourself. We could go into a lengthy discussion of organic vs. conventional foods here, but the bottom line of control is, if you know what’s going into what you’re eating, you can make accurate decisions about not only what to eat (or not eat), but what effect it is likely to have on reaching your fitness goals.
How often you eat out can make a difference in how much control you have over what you’re eating. There’s no question that is preparing a meal yourself allows you absolute say over every little thing about that food. Many of us, because of other obligations, lack of skill or time, or some other constraint, can’t be in control of every bite that goes into our bodies. So, we do our best by choosing the eating-out place and asking questions about the food there with an eye toward staying close to our fitness goals.
As we said above, one meal does not make or break a fitness/diet/eating program. That special dinner out with that special someone has lot more positive impact on your mental health than any negative impact on your physical fitness goals. In the same way, that glop-laden fast-food burger, large milkshake, and supersize fries, isn’t going to spoil everything for you when it comes to fat loss. IF you indulge on an appropriate basis.
Food items are not good or bad in and of themselves. There are only appropriate and inappropriate frequencies and amounts. For example, a piece of chocolate cheesecake once in a while is not a problem. A piece or two of chocolate cheesecake every day is a problem.
This relates directly to how much food you are taking in when you are eating out. Most restaurants serve far more than the average person needs in a single meal. Paying attention to the amount of food we eat at one sitting can pay big dividends when it comes to weight loss.
Keep in mind when eating out and trying to lose body fat: engage your brain, get educated on what goes into food prepared by a restaurant, and pay attention to what you’re eating.