No matter what meal plan or diet system you’re on, eating out can be tricky. The best way to tackle this situation is to think about your health and fitness goals.
For some, the goal is to lose weight. For others, it may be to consume quality food for optimum health. For individuals who want an ageless lifestyle, the goals are the following:
1. We want to feel good — to be vibrant and energetic to enjoy our lifestyle.
2. We want to look good — to be radiant and healthy looking exuding the joy we feel inside.
3. We want to age well — to be free of pain and disease so that we can grow old gracefully.
I would like to share with you “rules” I follow when dining out that help support the goal of an ageless lifestyle.
7 Rules for Eating Out to Support an Ageless Lifestyle
1. The most important rule is to feel good.
This means not just enjoying your food while you’re eating it, but also to feel amazing 1-2 hours after digestion. The food choices you make for example should not cause gas, bloating, or indigestion.
You can find out which foods don’t sit well with you by paying attention to how your body reacts 1-2 hours after you’ve eaten the food. Are you bloated, gassy, flemmy, itchy, experiencing migraines, coughing, and / or any irritation after eating a certain type of food. If so, avoid these foods. Your body is giving you bio-feedback — information saying, ‘”Yo this stuff ain’t for me!”
Think about how you want to feel “energetically” afterwards. Do you want to feel energized to be able to dance all night, go do a workout, or be mentally on point to work after your meal? Perhaps you want to feel relaxed and at ease so that you can fall asleep easily. Factor in how you want to feel energy-wise then choose your foods appropriately.
2. The next most important rule is to eat to be satisfied.
One way to know that you have eaten enough is to feel for your “Bursar Sigh.” The Bursar Sigh is the first large sigh that your body does while eating. This sigh is a signal from your body telling you that you are full. I speak of this extensively with my clients as it is an effective tool to make sure one does not over eat.
People may not be aware of this physical sign because they don’t know to look for it, there is a general lack of awareness of how their body is feeling, and for many, they just eat too fast to be able to observe it. Eat slower, pay attention to your body, feel for your Bursar Sigh, and then follow through by pushing your food away.
3. Limit or stay away from processed foods.
I’m sure most of you who read my blog don’t dine at fast-food places on the regular, but it’s worth mentioning why…
Avoid fast-food purveyors like McDonald’s, Burger King, and Subway to name a few as no good will come of it. Deli meats and the so called “meat” used in fast-food chains are extremely hazardous to your health.
The World Cancer Research Fund came to the following conclusion:
No amount of processed meat is good for you. Conventionally raised meats are tainted with metals and are festering with antibiotic-resistant superbugs.
Also, try to limit your intake of bread and pasta. If the restaurant actually makes their own bread and pasta then I am more forgiving to indulge because the homemade versions will not have the preservatives or extra ingredients that may be unhealthy. If you are gluten sensitive, you will want to avoid products made with wheat and flour all together.
Rice doesn’t have gluten and if your body tolerates it well—meaning after consuming it you don’t feel lethargic , bloated, or discomforted in any way—then rice may be an option on occasion. Remember moderation is key!
4. Stay away from genetically modified foods (GMOs).
When eating out, I generally stay away from corn and soy beans because they are the two most genetically modified crops made in America. (America is the #1 producer of GMOs followed by Argentina, Brazil, Canada, and China) Other common GMO foods are: canola oil, milk, zucchini, squash, and papaya.
The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) urges doctors to prescribe non-GMO diets for all patients. They cite animal studies showing organ damage, gastrointestinal and immune system disorders, accelerated aging, and infertility.
5. Stay away from fake sugars.
Hundreds of studies have shown the harmful effects of artificial sweeteners. They have been linked to cancer, weight gain, Type II diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Some fake sugars are: aspartame (Equal Classic, NutraSweet), sucralose (Splenda), saccharine (Equal Saccharin, Sweet N Low).
If you must use a sweetener use real organic honey, maple syrup, raw coconut sugar, stevia, or turbinado sugar. Ultimately, it is best to limit all sugar and fructose from your diet as too much of it will lead to weight gain, rapid aging, and other health concerns.
6. Bless your food.
I try to bless all the food I eat because I believe this practice helps to create harmony between my body and the food I’m ingesting helping my body to accept and metabolize the food better making me healthier.
In my experience as a fitness professional and life coach, I have noticed that when my clients feel good about what they’re eating, and not just when the food itself is healthy, but also when they are in a state of gratefulness while they are eating — they are more healthy and happy overall.
Simply, when you believe the food you’re eating is blessed and good for you, you feel good and your body reacts in kind.
7. When in doubt – simplify!
Sometimes it’s just easier to lay out what foods you should eat. In general, when dining out eat meat, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and some starches like sweet potato and yam.
Tweet it like you mean it!I keep it simple when I eat out. I choose whole foods and preferably organic if available! Click To Tweet
If you would want help in creating your healthy and ageless lifestyle then check out my life-coaching services.