Eating Out: Advantages and Disadvantages

Eating out is something that the majority of us do, some more than others. There is plenty of reason to do so but when it comes to our health, have you ever considered the advantages and disadvantages? Most have probably thought about the advantages already, but have you thought about the disadvantages as well? In this brief article, I will cover both sides, just in case you or someone you know have never thought of either side.

Lets’ start with the advantages

Advantages:

It’s Convenient

This is great for the busy person working late and/or has a family to feed but lacks the time and energy. Life can be a bit much at times.

Taste and Flavor

There are actually professionals cooking your food which more than likely make the food you desire better than you do.

No Cooking or Cleaning

It’s one less thing for you to do once home. Who wants to cook and clean after a long day at work?

Entertainment

Perhaps eating out is part of the entertainment you are partaking in, especially if part of the package deal you’re paying for.

Socialization

You want to hang out with some friends and agree on a spot to eat to gather and catch up. It’s a two-for-one deal. Good tasting food and comradery.

It’s a Treat

It’s a reward or treat for some people. You’ve been disciplined all week with your diet or had some other major accomplishment and eating is your reward or treat.

Disadvantages:

Larger Portions

We tend to eat with our eyes and feel the need to clean our plates. When eating out, those portions are usually larger on a larger plate than at home. Therefore, we end up consuming more food especially if blindly stuffing food in our mouths while socializing or being entertained.

More Sugar, Salt, and Fat

This is how they get you hooked, combining sugar, salt, and fat. For some reason our palates love it. The fast-food joints and restaurants take advantage of this to make a profit rather than being concerned about your health. The book “Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us” dives deeper into this, which would be a good read for you.

More Calories

With more salt, sugar, and/or fat, usually comes more calories and you have to put those calories somewhere. In excess, it will be stored as fat once all the appropriate places it belongs stored, start to overflow elsewhere like around your organs. I’m not a calorie counter but blindly eating processed food, adds up quickly.

Less Nutritional Balance

Again, the goal of most fast-food chains and franchise restaurants is to make a profit and keep you coming back for more, not make you healthier. Making you a balanced meal that nourishes your body is probably the last thing on their priority list.

More Temptation

Marketing and advertising are a major part of fast food and restaurants plan to get you to buy their food. At times this can have you buying food when you’re not even hungry. You’re just buying because it’s triggering dopamine in your brain. They have psychologists on their payroll for nothing. It’s a mind game people.

Now, although I stated those advantages and disadvantages of eating out, this is not always the case depending on where you decide to eat out. Some restaurants and fast-food spots are more health conscious allowing more flexibility with their meal selection and/or pride themselves on being all organic, plant-based, and so forth. For the most part, in the majority of your staple fast-food spots and restaurants, the above advantages and disadvantages are true. We live in a capitalist society where, unfortunately, money overrides people’s health and well-being most times.

Your best bet would be to strategically eat out while being mindful. Eating out every now and then to enjoy life is absolutely fine. Donuts, burgers, cakes, and so forth taste great but won’t have you feeling great in the long haul if it dominates your diet.

If you find yourself eating out so much that your health begins to suffer and/or lose control of how much you’re eating out, it’s time for a change.

Ultimately, I would recommend that you cook your own meals at home as much as possible. Find healthier ways to make your favorite dishes you would normally eat out for.  If you don’t know how to cook, consider a healthy meal delivery service, sign up for a cooking class, watch videos on how to cook on YouTube, or invest in some cookbooks. You can also hire a personal chef if you have the funds to do so.

Hope you enjoyed reading this article and found it useful. Please share it with your family, friends, co-workers, or anyone else that would benefit from it. If in need of more guidance, consider signing up for a consultation by visiting my services page. Also, visit my healthy lifestyle resource page and read more articles on my blog.

Be Healthy, Be Balanced, Be You

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