Dining out = diet disaster

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Dining out at a restaurant is the easiest way to sabotage your diet.

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Going out for dinner was once thought of as a luxury, but with so many options now on our high streets, it’s easy to pick a restaurant rather than slaving away over dinner at home.

However, dining out is a surefire way to undo the day’s healthy eating, and even though it’s obvious that more calories are being consumed, dieters are happy to ruin a day of being good for a restaurant splurge.

A year long study led by Lora Burke, professor of nursing, followed 150 overweight people who were all trying to stick to a weight loss plan. The participants, mostly made up of women, were all required to check in throughout the day and report back where they were, who they were with and if they’d broken their diet or were tempted to.

It was found that people had around a 60 per cent chance of giving in to food temptation at a restaurant, which was far higher than any other daily situation. Behind that at 40 per cent was indulging at work, and then 30 per cent in the car. Eating at home proved less hazardous, but only if no temptations presented themselves. If the temptation was there, people gave in about 65 per cent of the time.

“You might think that everybody knows they’re at higher risk when they go into a restaurant, but people go out into these toxic environments and they forget,” Lora noted.

“We remind people that it’s not a diet they can go on and off; it’s a lifestyle. It’s okay if they want to go out Friday night and eat wings, but then they need to cut back on Thursday and Saturday.”

Results were presented at a recent meeting of the American Heart Association.

© Cover Media

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