Are Cravings & Binges Screwing Up Your Diet? Eating Out Could Help You Lose Weight…….
What You Need To Know
- In a controlled environment, such as school or work – adhering to your diet is easy. You have to make your food last you the day & you can’t over eat.
- Most people are able to stick to their diet when food is prepped and ready.
- The majority of weight gain comes from additional snacks (which could turn into a binge session) on top of regular set meals.
- Binge eating on an evening when at home (especially when alone) is the most common form of binge eating – you are not alone.
- Eating out can prevent a binge session, give you a break from macro tracking, and allow you a chance to socialise.
- A meal out will more than likely contain far fewer calories than what a binge would, thus helping you to minimise caloric intake.
The Easy Part Of Dieting
If you’ve got your shit together, chances are that through the day you find dieting easy. This is because you’ll have prepared in advance. If you’re anything like me, this is what your evenings look like.
- Establish Macros for the following day (This only applies when im carb cycling)
- Figure out work & gym schedule for the next day (travelling, office, meetings, weight session, cardio session)
- Decide on number of meals you’ll need with you based on schedule
- Cook & prepare meals for the following day.
By having this system down, it makes sticking to your diet so much easier. You will take a set number of meals to last you the day. For me, it 4 meals I eat before getting home.
I’ll have breakfast, 3 rice & meat meals, and these last me for the work day. Again, if you’re like me, you’ll hit the gym on an evening. Smash your workout knowing your diet & training is on point.
You’re on top of the world.
You get home, start to chill out, the cravings kick in….
Whether it’s a tub of peanut butter, a raid through the cereal cupboard, or emptying a packet of biscuits, before you know it, you’ve blow your macros out of the water.
You’ve already cheated, so you might aswell just write this off as a cheat day and continue.
That night you’ll prep your meals with a little less carb’s and fat to try and compensate for the binge you’ve just had (as if cutting your carbs by 15 grams from each meal is going to help for the 500 surplus carbs you’ve just ate).
Hell, you’ll probably even throw in an extra half an hour of cardio to.
You leave the gym on the evening, once again feeling like a boss. Only to get home, hungrier than the day before as you’ve ate less and worked out more. The binge happens again.
It’s a vicious cycle…..
How Eating Out Can Help
For any bodybuilder or physique competitors in competition prep, eating out is usually a no-no. Even for the casual gym goer dieting, the thought of eating out is usually associated with “the wrong thing to do”.
There is some truth to this. When im in contest prep I never eat out. During contest prep, i go full on bro. I need to account for my macros as accurately as possible. Unless i prepare food myself, this is impossible.
If im just looking to cut im a bit more lenient and relaxed when it comes to eating out. Occasionally I’ll see it as a “free meal”, sometimes i’ll guestimate the macros for a meal and factor it into my daily allowance. This is really what flexible dieting is all about. Getting the right balance between your diet & training, along with not sacrificing too much from your life, or letting it negatively impact on your relationships with friends and family.
For those prone to binge eating at at home, then eating out could infact help you lose weight.
Here are 4 reasons why.
1) – Stress Free
Treat it as a “free meal” or “cheat meal”. Trying to calculate a mini binge on MFP will make your lose your mind. Did you have 3 or 4 servings of cereal? How many biscuits did you eat?
Stressing about the damage that has already been done will probably make you think screw it and just continue.
When you eat out, just treat it as a “cheat meal” and for that 1 meal (and that 1 meal only) forget tracking macros, and just enjoy it.
2) – More Aware
Binging is easier when you’re on your own. You can blast through however much food you want without being accountable to anyone.
When you’re eating out with with other people, you will not binge as you would by yourself. Thus limiting your overall caloric intake.
3) – Cost
Eating out isn’t cheap. If you’re like me you won’t want to get a 3 course meal, drinks and side dishes (unless its a post show mega cheat meal of course!)
Desserts are usually one of the more expensive things on the menu. I’ve seen prices upwards of £6 for a slice of cheesecake. Aint nobody gone time for that!
If you feel like you’re wallet is being raped, you won’t buy it, and you won’t eat it.
4) – Limited Quantities
The Cupboard Binge. At home nothing is off limits. If you’re in binge mode, nothing is safe. Even foods you might not normally enjoy aren’t out of bounds. You’ll eat and eat until you’re probably sick from food.
Unless you’re at a buffet (which i would 100% recommend not to do if you’re prone to binge eating), then going out for a meal means you’ve got a set quantity of food.
You have your meal (maybe a side) and that’s it.
If you want a starter, grab one. If you want a dessert – get it.
If you’ve got any cravings remaining after you’ve ate your food, by the time you get home, they’ve probably gone.
The Balance Of Eating Out
I’m not saying to eat out for every meal, or every day. For anyone in contest prep, eating out is usually a nightmare. Unless you personally weigh out and prepare the food yourself, its impossible to know the exact macros & calories a meal will contain.
In those situations, suck it up, and ride the cravings out. Think of success on the stage as opposed to false satisfaction from cheating on your diet.
However for the majority of people just wanting to lose fat and look a little better, when you feel a mega craving coming on, this could be a friday or saturday evening, turn it into a meal out. Eat it. Move on.
Please share this with a friend who it might help.
Also, let me know what you’re go to restaurant is when you fancy a treat. Im a chiquito’s kinda guy – embracing my hispanic heritage (The El’ Shreddycano)