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Friday, June 27, 2008

Avoiding the temptations of eating out

"For in that He Himself has suffered being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted." Hebrews 2:18

As a pastors wife, it's hard to avoid eating out, especially now that I'm trying to diet. Wouldn't you know it, the day I began my diet several weeks ago, the party invitations and luncheon dates began to arrive! I had gone for weeks without any of those things, but the day I start my diet, the temptations began.

We've had a missionary guest in our church's motel unit for the last month and have enjoyed the time spent in getting to know him. The second week he was with us, he began a "tradition" of taking us out for ice cream each Thursday evening to a local convenience store where the ice cream was inexpensive and the cone was FULL!

This has prompted a lot of prayer on my part. "Lord, what can I do so I don't fall off the dieting wagon again?" In answer to my prayer, the Lord has helped me develop several strategies to help me get through.

1. Plan your calorie intake for the day.
Tracking the foods I eat each day has helped me to see just what I'm eating and how many calories I'm consuming daily. On days when I know we will go out for ice cream with our missionary friend, I add the proper amount of calories on my food tracker first ting in the morning so I can tell what's left for the day. By planning for the evening treat, I keep within my calorie allotment.

2. Choose a low cal, low fat alternative food.
In the case of our ice cream loving missionary friend, I was able to find a "no sugar added" lower calorie ice cream that was actually pretty tasty and only had 122 calories per 1/2 cup.

3. Go prepared!
I nearly panicked when our missionary friend suggested we go visit some mutual friends and then go out to dinner since I was avoiding restaurants. Again I prayed and found a good solution.

He had already chosen the restaurant he wanted to stop at so I went online and looked up their menu and nutrition information. I picked out my choices ahead of time based on my research so I didn't even have to look at the menu when I got there, ensuring I would make healthy choices and not be tempted.

Most major chain restaurants today have their menus and nutrition info online. If they don't, choose another restaurant that does. Forewarned is forearmed.

4. Order water with your meal.
I'm tracking water intake as well as calories so ordering water makes good sense. Not only am I helping myself get my 8 recommended servings of water per day, my wallet is staying plumper while I lose weight. Most of the time that glass of iced tea or soft drink is more ice than drink.

5. Order a carry out container to be brought with your meal.

If you get the container before you start to eat, you can put half of your meal aside before you start. Then you ensure that you won't over eat with those large restaurant portions and you will have a great lunch for free the next day.

Thank you Lord for helping me avoid the eating out temptations so I can still enjoy the fellowship of my friends without the hassle of having to cook!

1 comment:

Leanne said...

Stumbled onto your blog from the Assemblies of God blogs site - As a fellow woman in ministry AND "weight watcher," I feel your pain!!!

Those are some great suggestions - a few more:

*Splitting entrees with someone. Most restaurants give you enough food to feed a small family, anyway, and this also saves $$!!

*Check out dwlz.com. There is a HUGE restaurant list (I'm not kidding - just about every chain restaurant you could imagine!) to help "forearm" you. It lists Weight Watchers points values, so if you're not in WW...one "point" is roughly 50 calories, give or take a few depending on fat and fiber content.

*Cold Stone Creamery's sinless sweet cream with raspberries (or any fruit!) mixed in is AMAZING...low in fat and calories...and they make a "child size" that is smaller than their "like it." It's not displayed; you have to ask for it...