Skip to Content

Refined Sugar and Me Week 4 — The Pitfalls of Dining Out

Let’s check in on week four of refined sugar & me in 2017. So this week… I re-lost the pound I gained back last week, so am back to five pounds down from where I started at the end of December. I’m still feeling better than I have in a long time, and have stayed away from desserts and made almost all my meals at home. But…

This week’s pitfall is eating meals out. I’m fine skipping dessert, I’m not craving cookies or cake or candy — but sit me in front of a bowl of bebimbap? All bets are off in the face of the sweet & spicy goodness of gochujang.

I’ve been trying to eat all my meals at home until I’m on track and completely settled in, but last week I had lunch at Hanbun with a friend (so gorgeous! so good!). A couple days later our family had Chinese food to celebrate Mr. 9’s showing at his recent tae kwon do tournament (his pick) — and guess who also enjoyed the leftovers the next day? Yeah, that was me.

My guess is that someday I’ll be at the point where I can go out and enjoy a nice meal of bebimbap (or Mongolian beef or sushi or…) without crashing and craving for a whole day afterwards, but that day has not yet arrived. Is it just me, or do you find that eating out or enjoying certain meals leaves you hungrier the whole next day?

Getting back on track

This is the week of getting back on track:

  • No eating out
  • Frequent snacks/small meals that include filling protein, fiber, and good fats

I think my biggest issue is finding balance: When I go out and eat too much, I’m hungrier for a whole day. When I go too long without snacking on something healthy & filling, I overeat because I let myself get too hungry. This all seems pretty basic, right? But I have a lot of years of bad eating habits to break — and am guessing I’m not the only one. 🙂

So, that’s me this week

How are you doing on your own healthier eating plan so far — and what have you found that helps you stay on track?

Earlier installments:


Tuesday 24th of January 2017

Exercising even just a little bit has always been something that helps because it puts me in a healthier mindset. It gives me more energy, makes me more conscious about my food choices, etc. However, my new addiction is David's Tea! There are so many flavors, varieties, levels of caffeine and minimal calories (usually 5-10) per cup. Drinking a few cups of tea a day keeps me fuller and the sweeter teas help me with my sweet cravings. You have to find whatever works best for you!


Monday 23rd of January 2017

I have found that I'm better off if I always include some protein in snacks and meals. Speaking of snacks, do you like jicama? I think it provides a nice crunch and little bit of sweetness as a snack with avocado and nuts. I also like it in a green salad with sweet corn and tomatoes.


Monday 23rd of January 2017

I do like jicama, but never think of buying it!


Monday 23rd of January 2017

Hormones, hormones, hormones. Insulin, grehlin, leptin. Simple carbs are just really a struggle for a lot of people, including me. I've been reading nutrition studies for years to try to figure it all out. I was Paleo before Paleo was cool although I follow a semi-Primal approach now when I'm being good :). Both Mark's Daily Apple and Paleo Mom have some interesting and scientific posts and books. Even though it is not scientifically proven as far as I can tell, I really believe it can take days after I eat sugar/simple carbs for my appetite to return to "controllable," and I've seen many others online who feel the same way. I really have to treat it like an addiction, and try as hard as possible to not fall off the wagon. I actually just "re-started" in January after about a year and a half of eating whatever (and a significant weight gain).

I definitely try to eat (and drink) a lot of fat to improve satiety, and I eat eggs and roasted veggies a lot. I have fruit about every other day. I can also recommend the plantain chips from Trader Joe's with salsa. When I eat out, cobb salads, chili, carne asada and bunless burgers are my primary choices. I also do much better with appetite control when I get 8-8.5 hours of sleep every night (probably due to cortisol levels).

If you want a simple dessert/snack, blend a banana, a big scoop of almond butter, and an egg and then microwave it for 3 minutes in a bowl/large mug. I call it banana cake. But let it cool all the way before you eat it!

Good luck, hang in there!


Monday 23rd of January 2017

I think the biggest epiphany for me has been time. For me it isn't really about eating fast, although I think the same principle would apply. I find that I plan out a good meal, eat it, then think I am still hungry. In the past, I would just eat more. But now since I am counting calories (a huge ridiculous pain, but I do find it incredibly valuable for awareness and also keeps me honest), I can't "afford" to do that. So I just do something else and probably about a half hour later, I realize I am not hungry anymore. This might be obvious because one's body obviously needs time to process that food has come in, but for me it was always so hard to stop unless I actually felt full.

Ruby Red

Monday 23rd of January 2017

One of the best things you can do when eating out is ask for a box as soon as they serve your food. Immediately take half and put it in the box which you can have for lunch the next day. Many people don't realize how big the servings are in restaurants. It's also a great way to train your stomach to eat less. At home, eat a serving of vegetables or a salad before you eat dinner. That takes up room in your stomach and that way you don't eat too much at dinner. Another idea I've heard of is to split your meal on your plate: 50% veggies, 25% meat, 25% carbs. You could also get in the habit of having some fruit at the end of your meal. Makes it seem like dessert and it's yummy ending on a sweet note! :-)


Tuesday 24th of January 2017

I think one of the biggest pitfalls of dining out for me is the sodium content. I cook with very little salt and when we dine out, I feel the effects of the sodium on me. I gain weight and I get brain fog when my BP goes up.

Simple Share Buttons