I’ve mentioned before that I’ve started keeping a food journal to keep in check when, and how much I was eating. It has been incredibly useful for me because I’m a nibbler– especially when I’m eating out with friends and ESPECIALLY when eating with a significant other. I look back at my last relationship and I realized that I had been eating, literally, the same portion sizes as a 6’3″ male. I’m 5’5″ with about a 50 lb difference. For example, we’d go out to a restaurant and I’d probably get something of an equal size, oh, let’s say a double-meat burger or a huge bowl of cheesy pasta and I was able clean my plate. Take into account that most restaurants have about two adult servings per plate. I would always end up asking myself, “uh, wow, how did I let this happen?“
There have been studies about how married couples tend to gain weight and while I’m definitely not married, this totally applies to people just cohabiting. Since you live together (or at least hang out like all the time), you probably eat the same things at the table for dinner.
Eating out with friends is also incredibly difficult. After everyone is done eating, you are probably all still sitting around the table chatting and conversing. Unfortunately, if you’re like me, chances are that that plate of fries you said you were too full to finish is gone.
Recently, however, I’m lucky enough to have a guy that’s as much of a clean-eater, if not more so (broccoli for dessert? egh), as me. However, this isn’t the case for a lot of women out there and while you can point the finger and force him to change, there are much easier ways to eat healthier while actually keeping relationships with other people whom you can, perhaps, influence to follow suit. Here are some tips that I’ve been practicing that should help.
1. INDEPENDENT EATING. So important is the ability for us to order something different from the people we are surrounded by. Having a different meal from other people and your significant other is okay! Don’t be afraid to order a yummy salad when others are ordering greasy pizza. Don’t be afraid to ask for the dressing on the side, no cheese, extra tomatoes, etc. There’s nothing wrong with picking and choosing what goes into your body. There is only one of you so your health should be taken seriously. You should never feel ashamed of doing so. Besides, when everyone feels like they have stones in their stomachs, you’ll feel much better satisfied than stuffed.
2. ASK FOR A BOX. Like I said, most restaurants give you double, if not more, the serving size that you need to be full or satisfied. For example, T.G.I. Fridays has salads that are about 1600+ calories while Cheesecake Factory’s burger has less calories and sodium than the Chicken Sandwich. Oh yeah, they know nutrition sells and they know that you’re going to get that dish with a cute little heart next to it. If you’re not sharing a meal, then always, always, always ask for a to-go box and take away half the meal. If you don’t see it, you won’t eat it.
3. SHARE! You’ll have to know how much is enough for you in order to do this one. I (almost) always share a meal when I go out with the boyfran (to the chagrin of the restaurant) and I’m always more than full afterward. Don’t think that it’s enough to eat? Order an appetizer or save room for dessert! That way, you can try out different dishes in a restaurant without over-indulging or overspending.
4. COOK AT HOME. Restaurant food is rarely good for you unless you’re willing to dish out some green. There are some really quick meal options at home. For example, just the other night, Jesse and I grabbed some whole-wheat tortillas, premade hummus, and rolled it up with some salad, protein-rich avocados (for me) and some rotisserie chicken (for him). I LOVE rotisserie chicken! You can literally put it in ANYTHING. Trust. Home-made meals are also customizable. Again, I had veggie-style and he had some meat. DIY if you really want it your way.
Plus when you cook for him, he doesn’t really have room to complain, does he?