5 Dining Out Myths That Are Sabotaging Your Diet
Ever feel like it’s impossible to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle when eating out? With the right knowledge and a plan of action, you can still eat out well and continue on your raw food lifestyle, without losing your balance.
Here are five dining out myths you should steer clear of that are sabotaging your diet.
“Because I worked out, I can forget about calories and indulge myself during meals.”
Just because your cardio class promised that you would burn 800 calories in one session does not mean you can treat yourself to fettuccine Alfredo and cheesecake each time. It is far more common to overestimate the number of calories we’ve burned.
People burn calories at different rates, and usually make the mistake of underestimating the amount of calories consumed. You don’t want to negate your hard work unintentionally!
Even if your estimates are exact, do you really want to cancel out your hard work entirely? Either way, keep the balance and avoid overdoing it. If you are still hungry after a workout, increase your portion sizes of fruit and vegetables to replenish yourself, instead of reaching for junk food or snacking unhealthily.
“As long as I eat a completely clean diet of all-natural raw foods, I don’t need to bother about calories.”
Of course, keeping to a raw food diet is beneficial for you. But if weight management is a priority, then you would still want to keep tabs on your calorie intake. Even if a raw food diet is considered healthy, it is always possible to consume far more calories than you burn by eating excess food especially outside at restaurants or dinner parties.
This is because plenty of natural foods are nutritionally dense and rich in calories (think avocados, nuts and grains), making even a small portion of such food contain a substantial calorie count. If you overeat these and dine out at restaurants a lot, you could quickly pack on the pounds. Eat the healthy stuff, but still practice portion control!
“All calories are created equal.”
While it is true that in order to lose weight you must burn more calories than you consume, it is a never-dying myth that all calories are created equal.
Every time you eat, the food you consume interacts with your biology — a complicated process that transforms each bite and instructs your cells what to do. This affects your metabolism, brain chemistry, and hormones.
For example, calories from sugar cause fat storage and spike hunger. Whereas, if you want to promote fat burning you should look to obtain calories from protein and fat.
When dining out at restaurants, you will find the best quality calories in raw whole foods, which are lower in calories and definitely more nutritious than processed foods. Next time you are perusing the menu, look for the following food items.
- Good fats: Avocado, extra-virgin olive oil, coconut butter and omega-3 fats from fish
- Quality proteins: Grass-fed animal products, chicken, small wild fish, nuts, seeds and organic eggs
- Good carbs: Brightly colored vegetables, fruit like wild berries, apples, kiwis
- Superfoods: Chia, hemp seeds and more
“I should order a salad for dinner to control my calorie intake.”
While salads are universally considered a smart choice when dining out, restaurant salads can often contain far more calories than you would expect. Salad dressings alone usually contain hundreds of calories!
If you are instinctively assuming that a giant Cobb salad is a healthier option than a plate of fish and veggies, you may want to reconsider how you approach restaurant menus. For drinks and dessert, treat yourself every once in a while, but keep it to a minimum and split something sweet with your dining companions.
“It’s okay to eat processed food or fruit juices every day if it’s a small amount.”
No matter how small of an amount, processed food is always a bad choice. Take steps to eliminate processed foods from your diet and switch to an entirely raw food diet. If necessary, occasionally have processed foods as cheat meals. However, most people who switch to a raw food diet feel far better and no longer crave processed foods.
For example, if you eat two pieces of toast every day, you will have eaten 28 slices in two weeks, which is equal to three whole loaves. This is far too much processed food!
Opting to drink store-bought or restaurant served “pure” fruit juice every day is going to slow down your weight loss significantly. These are not made with clean fruit and, instead, have a lot of sugar in them. Save your fruit juices and smoothies for making at home!
Remember, don’t let these myths keep you from successful weight loss and maintaining good health the natural way.