The answer to this question depends on what stage of the weight-loss journey you are on. For people who are on the weight-loss phase, or as we call “Phase 1”, eating out is prohibited. Restaurants load up their food with salt and sugar to make it taste better. Sometimes you even think that you are making mindful decisions, but you end up consuming hidden carbs.
“Phase 4” or the maintenance phase is different. By this time you are equipped with the tools and resources to eat out occasionally. The key word is occasionally. Keep in mind that if you eat out too often you will reverse your weight-loss progress. That’s why we feel eating out should be saved for celebrations.
If you are in phase 1, and find your self eating out, please don’t beat your self up. You are making one of the most courageous lifestyle changes possible. Give your self time. Please do not rush developing healthy habits. Rushing it is not sustainable. So there is no need to cut your self off your favorite lunch place cold turkey. Rather taper your self off.
You can do this by setting goals with your coach. If you ate out 4 times last week, set a goal to eat out 3 times or less this week. If you accomplish your goal, reward yourself. The sacrifice won’t feel as dire when you get to treat yourself.
Keep in mind that the end goal for patients in “Phase 1” is to stop eating out completely. Your coach will help you reach this over time. We have tons of evidence proving that the patients who refrain from eating out lose weight faster.