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  • Writer's pictureJane Webber Nutrition

Eating out! The good, the bad and the ugly

Lockdowns are nearly over for most of us. We can meet with family and friends, inside and outside. We maybe limited to 6 people or 2 households and still 2 metres apart, but the bars, pubs and restaurants are busy with people enjoying themselves after a long, cold Winter.

Many people I know love eating out at different cafes and restaurants. They love trying out new places almost as much as they love returning to their old favourite spots. Most of us love trying new menu items and discovering new ways to eat the foods they enjoy the most. Eating out or getting take-outs can be both a wonderful and very dangerous thing.

In the UK and for most of the western world, we are blessed to have restaurants, bars, pubs and take-outs dotting the streets of many streets in towns and cities of all sizes.

We are rarely at a loss for places to eat out. One of the greatest things about eating out or getting someone else to cook is that it easy, quick and sociable as well.

After spending long hours at our workplaces, whether its at home or in an office, few people have the time or energy to return home and cook a gourmet meal. Eating out seems to be a great solution at the end of a long, tiring day.

Eating out can also be great because we can try a wide variety of foods and drinks that we don't have the ability to make ourselves. No one loves eating the same basic foods over and over again, so eating out can be a good way to give our taste buds something new.

However, if we are not careful, eating out can also be dangerous for a couple of big reasons. First, we must use caution in eating out for the sake of our health. Most restaurants and cafes offer huge portions of items that are unhealthy to eat and drink. Fizzy drinks on tap, all you can eat buffets and large portions of processed foods.

Eating out often means filling up on starters, a main course, a few high calorie beverages, and a dessert to finish off the evening. Think about how many calories you can consume during a meal like this. Recently I worked with a client and her Friday night meal contained over 1,500 calories! Shocking news to her when she thought she had chosen well.

I am not, of course, saying that we should never enjoy eating out. I am, however, saying that we need to be careful, for our health's sake, about eating out too frequently. We must be careful to watch our choices when we are eating out.

Choose healthier items or commit to only eating half of the meal you choose. There are ways of eating out healthily, it just takes conscious effort.

Another huge reason to be careful about eating out too often is your pocketbook and budget.

It is no secret that eating out costs more, on average, than cooking meals in your own home. It is easy to accumulate large bills, especially at nicer places. So be careful that you stick to a budget when you make plans for eating out.

Some clients come to me saying that they don’t think they can afford my prices, but when we break down the number of times they eat out or get take-outs and how much it costs them, then they realise that I can help them lose pounds and save £s.

Beware. Eating out can be one of the greatest pleasures or one of the most dangerous things. Enjoy the experience but do it with caution.

I help clients by researching the menus, so they can make more informed choices, so they can enjoy eating out without the guilt.

Want hints and tips each day? Join my Facebook Group

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