Eating Out: I Can Do It!


This past weekend I spent the weekend away from Green Mountain visiting friends in Massachusetts. Being away for the weekend in that situation inevitably meant I had to eat most my meals at restaurants.

After relying on my properly portioned meals and snacks at Green Mountain for a month this experience was a bit of a shock.  As you might expect, it is a lot easier to eat right when your food is expertly chosen and prepared.  But that doesn’t mean you can’t make similar good choices on your own.  In fact, I did quite a good job on my own.

Following some of the take home methods they teach at Green Mountain at Fox Run, I managed to eat healthy and properly portioned meals.  I used the plate model, which means half my plate should be veggies and the other half divided by protein and starchy carbs, to determine my food choices.  As I suspected getting my meals to always follow this model took a bit of work.  Sometimes I ordered a meal selection that didn’t come with a vegetable.  Solution to that minor problem?  Asking for a side of fresh vegetables.  Most restaurants are happy to provide them as a side dish or a substitute for a another item.

Another very helpful tip learned at Green Mountain that I used over the weekend was the idea of mindful eating.  At every meal I savored the food and experienced it fully, enjoying every bite.  I ate slowly and tasted everything and thought about the flavors in my mouth.

Also part of mindful eating, I rated my hunger often.  Before meals I tried to check in with my body and see how hungry I was.  This assessment often changed my food choices for the meal.  As I ate I tried to continue rating my hunger and fullness.  It was the continual process of assessing my hunger that helped me realize when I was full and could stop eating.  This process helped keep me from overeating even the most delicious of foods and often had me eating only half of the portion served because the portion size was not right.  If I had eaten everything the restaurant gave me I would have stuffed myself and turned a positive experience into a miserable one.  Eating the right amount of food only enhanced the dining experience.

Learning how to eat properly is a lot of work.  It takes being present and able to assess how your body feels in relation to the food you are consuming.  After a month at Green Mountain I have learned how to do this and feel confident in my new abilities.

8 responses to “Eating Out: I Can Do It!”

  1. Gina says:

    More people need to learn how to eat slowly and enjoy their food. Even I fall into the trap sometime where I eat way too fast for my own good. This usually happens when I am ravenously hungry, which is why I try hard not to let myself get to that point.

    Thanks for the great post.

  2. Alice says:

    Great tips. You always need to have a plan. “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” (Somebody important said that, but don’t ask me who.)

  3. Congratulations, Mary! You seem to have really nailed it with the mindful eating techniques. Keep up the great work!

  4. Marsha says:

    Great progress, Mary! This is such an important skill, one that we’re realy born to have but that gets lost in our busy lives, especially if we’re worried about calories, etc.

  5. […] note: my blog post at A Weight Lifted is up!  Go read about the mental aspect behind all the food shown in this […]

  6. FLG says:

    Fantastic post, and just awesome that you were able to put things you had learned into practice. Go you! 🙂

  7. Cindy says:

    Your last comment resonated with me because I think all too often we use meal time as an opportunity to either reward, relax, decompress or just zone out. Sure, eating should offer opportunities for joy, even stress management, but when you’re not present there is no REAL joy. Being in the present is work no matter what you’re doing, and it’s the discipline I most long to master.

  8. […] written about mindful eating a couple of times, but I’m still working out the kinks in the application in my own life.  I […]

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