How To Eat Healthy When Eating Out

We live in one of the best cities….

from our stunning views and parks that make for amazing workouts to …

… our food!  

In fact, San Francisco has officially been called “obsessed” with food.

Unfortunately, eating at food trucks, restaurants and cafes all the time can take a toll on our waistline, fitness goals and general health.

We’ve all been there: restaurant overkill. Maybe you have family or friends visiting and want to show them of your favorite restaurants. Or it’s a busy week at work, so you lean on your comfort takeout a little too much. It doesn’t take long to start to feel the effects.

So what’s a San Francisco foodie to do?

Here’s how to enjoy our city’s’ culinary scene and keep yourself feeling healthy:

Eat takeout and restaurant food in moderation. Make a goal to reduce the number of meals you eat out on a weekly basis. For example, if you often buy lunch out, try to save restaurants for the weekends only. Or if you always pick up breakfast at the cafe, try a 5 day challenge of home-made breakfasts. If you’re looking for easy ideas to cook, try this or this for breakfast or this for dinner.   

At BootCampSF, we don’t do short term diets or harsh restrictions. It really is about what you eat most of the time. So if you can truly minimize your indulgent meals to 1-2 times per week, then you can fully enjoy that Friday Delfina Pizzeria date or Sunday Aziza brunch. 

However, if you’re finding yourself traveling or work or social engagements require you to make dining out more than an occasional treat, here are some tips on how to make the best of it:

1. Start with something green. Ok, this might be old news, but we could all use the reminder. Starting with the salad or vegetable appetizer is always a good idea.

2. Order the simplest dish.  It can be hard to tell what the best choice is…the chicken or the fish dish? Here’s how to choose: pick the dish with the least amount of added ingredients. Anything that’s a protein and couple sides will be a better choice than the chicken or pasta in a 10 ingredient sauce. 

3. Pick your battles: booze vs. dessert. Alcohol and desserts are the two quickest ways to pack on the extra sugar and calories. If you think you’re going to order that second glass of wine, skip the dessert. Or if that chocolate pot de creme is calling your name, share it with a friend and skip the second drink.

Try these three, simple tips next time you’re dining out to help you feel healthy and enjoy your meal.

In the meantime, we challenge you to set a goal to reduce the number of meals you eat out. Set a goal, write it down and hold yourself accountable by telling us in the comments below!

But Boot Camp Sounds So Scary…

I moved to San Francisco from Boston in May. At that point I was coming off a seemingly endless winter of snow, sleet, and stuck indoors-ness. It would appear that most of those long cold months I lounged on my favorite chair watching television and football games while drinking wine and eating very very bad things. So I arrived on the West Coast in the absolute worst shape of my life. Go me!

My new apartment came equipped with two lovely gyms full of fancy exercise things so I figured I’d hop on the elliptical every day for an hour and all of that booze, cheese, and pastry I’d packed onto my thighs would disappear in a few weeks and the eight pair of jeans (I diligently packed even though I couldn’t fit into them) would then welcome me back with open arms.

Not so much. Working out made me feel better but obviously participating in the same thing every single day simply wasn’t doing the trick. The jeans still languished in the closet untouched and I still really enjoyed Wheat Thins. Then, one evening my boyfriend came home from work and excitedly told me all about the boot camp classes in our neighborhood that he’d read about online.

But the more he told me the more anxious I became. He seriously wanted me to sign up for a six-week session with him. Instead of agreeing, I laughed in his face. Boot camp? Me? Be serious! I’d never even played a sport before. The extent of my workout “regime” involved walking, the elliptical, and yoga. I certainly couldn’t run a mile. I hated being dirty and I really wasn’t a big fan of the outdoors in general, plus, I couldn’t stop picturing scenes from Full Metal Jacket in my head. What if someone yelled at me like that in front of other people?! I’d dissolve into tears. No way was I subjecting myself to anything that could possibly be that unfamiliar and unsettling.

So I told my boyfriend in no uncertain terms that I would rather be eaten alive by a raptor than exorcise outside in front of other people.

But I couldn’t stop thinking about it, and the more freaked out I got over the possibility of actually having to step out of my safe (and let’s face it very ineffectual) gym-based comfort zone, the more I realized that the irrational fear I was feeling meant that I absolutely had to sign-up. It sounds silly to me now, but honestly that was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

Unfortunately, it’s not like I hit the submit button, Bootcamp SF charged my credit card and then I went to my zen place. Some part of me was nervous about the first boot camp session every single day until I attended my first class in July, but I’ll tell you all about that day next week.