Benefits To Going On a Restaurant Diet

So, I am 2/3 of the way done with my restaurant diet from Jan 3 – Jan 31.

What is a restaurant diet?

A restaurant diet is where you don’t spend your own money at restaurants or cafes.  No Starbucks, No ice creams, and no take-out.  You can use gift cards or have your friends or company take you out, but you can not spend your own money.  This is the second time my family is going through this self-discipline exercise.  What benefits do I see?  (By the way, if you are my friend, I’ll be very grateful if you want to take me out to lunch. 🙂  Doh! Did I just type that?

Benefit 1: Remembering that Restaurants are a treat

While growing up, dining out at restaurants was more a treat rather than a fall back for poor planning.  We didn’t go to fancy restaurants all the time, nor did I go out to fast food often. For special occasions, birthdays, anniversaries, or promotions, we would dine at our favorite fancy restaurant.  The food was great, the company was fun, and we thoroughly enjoyed the experience.  Some of why we enjoyed it was the fresh and new feeling of dining out. Here’s an example: If you ate ice cream every day, pretty soon ice cream doesn’t taste so good.  You then have to look for gourmet ice creams.  The spiral goes out of control.

By going on a restaurant diet, one benefit is turning dining out back into a treat.

Benefit 2: Homemade meals get more creative.

Another factor of a restaurant diet, is constraints.  37signals, a popular design and software company, talks about embracing constraints in their book, Getting Real.  Now, I’ve placed constraints on my diet which in turn forces me to think creatively and reminds me of the benefits of planning meals in advance.  You have to.  If you can not go out to eat at a restaurant, and you want to eat food, you, at the very least, have to plan going to the grocery store to pick up food.  Now, if you live like me where the grocery store is not the most convenient place to get to, you don’t want to go there every day.  So, you have to plan your grocery shopping.  Now, I am not a big fan of box or frozen meals.  I like fresh prepared food.  So, using our creativity, we can try to create the restaurant experience at home by trying new recipes we like, setting an elegant table, making appetizers or desserts, or adding mood music that coincides with the meal’s theme.

Benefit 3: Saving money

One benefit of not going out to eat at restaurants and cafes is I spend less money.  Sometimes I wonder do I really spend less money, but I am sure I do.  When I go to a restaurant, I am more apt to order pricier dishes, desserts, appetizers, wine and drinks.  At home, I don’t always have those items, and its cheaper at home.  Instead of a brownie sundae at a restaurant for $6.  I can bake homemade brownies at home, and eat them for a week.  According Bundle.com the average household spent $291 dining out during Oct 2009.  So, if I spend just the average, we’ll save $300 this month.

Benefit 4: Better Nutrition

When I make the food at home or buy the groceries, I have a much better idea of what exactly I am eating. For example, I know that I’m using quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil and using very little salt in my recipes.  I also very, very rarely make fried foods.  However, when I dine out, Chicken Fingers is one of my favorites.  In addition, I will often order french fries at a restaurant.  By putting myself on a restaurant diet, I’m reducing my calories in and eating better.

So, When are you going on a restaurant diet?

Eating Healthy, 30 minutes Walking, and 60 minutes Quiet Thinking fixes Health Problems

Just another reason to eat healthy and exercise.

As reported by Will Dunham from Reuters, Dean Ornish conducted some studies on men with prostate cancer who elected against surgery for remediation.  To try to combat the low grade cancer: the men in the study:

  • Ate Healthy,
  • Exercised 30 minutes a day, and
  • Meditated | Prayed | Thought for 60 minutes a day.

Guess what happened?  In three months time, they lost weight as expected, but even more encouraging is they actually changed Genes.  The healthy lifestyle activated some disease fighting genes and deactivated some unhealthy genes.  WOW!

Read the Original News source: Healthy lifestyle triggers genetic changes: study

I know many a people who say they can’t lose weight or can’t get healthy, because they have bad genes or they are big boned, or you name the excuse.  Well, here is a study that says even if you have bad genes, you can get healthy with lifestyle changes.  To steal a phrase from someone before me:  Yes we can!

What’s stopping you from committing to a healthy lifestyle?

I want you around.  I want you to live life! Enjoy what Earth, God, Metaphysics provide for you.  Happiness is health and family.  Frolic with grand children at the park, Watch your dog chase his tail, or just watching the trees blow in the wind.

Where do I start?

Well, Let’s Think about it.

What do kids get on their children’s menu at restaurants?  They get connect the dot pictures.  It allows the child to create a dog, lion, car, or any number of pictures by following the dots one at a time slowly and incrementally.  It’s much easier to connect the dots to draw a picture than to draw on a blank slate.

So, connect the dots!  Start Slow, be methodical and incremental.  Work up a ladder.  I’ll expand on this method later, but here’s the abridged version:

Dots:

  • 0 days – 14 days: Commit to weighing yourself everyday for the first 2 weeks.

Don’t worry about the details. The fact that you are weighing yourself everyday is the accomplishment!

  • 14 days – 42 days:  Continue weighing yourself everyday, in fact, don’t stop weighing yourself for the rest of your life.  Add to that small amounts of exercise everyday.  I recommend the 8 minute weight workout, but you could also do 10 minutes of walking everyday, gradually build up.

You’ve got some great new habits now.  you weigh yourself everyday and you commit to your 10 minutes of exercise a day!

Lets add another dot.

  • 42 days – 56 days:  Continue your current weighing and exercise habits.  Now add tracking your diet everyday.  Keep a pen and paper handy.  Write down everything you eat, and just keep track, don’t worry about how much you eat.  Just log it.

We’re finding out internally what we do.  when we eat.  It will guide us in our nutrition plan.  Do I really eat 3 starbucks a day?  Do I have that many potato chips?  you can be amazed at what you eat without knowing it.  Again, remember the goal is to Identify and Track.  That’s the accomplishment for this dot.

  • 56 days – 84 days:  Pick one dietary change each week, and focus on that change.

Examples:  I recommend lowering your diet each week by 200 calories.  Or, Pick a food item that really causes you trouble.  For me it is french Fries.  If I cut out french fries, I cut out a ton of places I’d go to eat which means I make different diet changes.  I also have the challenge of large portions.  So, that can be my change.  Whatever it is, Pick one and focus while keeping up your habits.

  • 84 days – forever:  Rinse, Recycle, and Repeat.  What I mean, is this is lifestyle change.  we have to be willing to commit to the change and keep it at that.  it’s a change.  No going back.  Learn to love new foods and new ways of eating, Learn to love exercising, make it fun for you.  By creating these new habits, we can replace our old diet habits.

How do you connect the dots?  What’s your incremental lifestyle change you can make?  Can you commit?

Of course, I recommend simpleweight for managing this healthy diet and exercise planning.