Alghamdulilah! Today is my husband’s birthday (may Allah grant him many more inshaAllah). In the word’s of Schmit in New Girl he’s now “Twenty Noine!” A birthday means many things, not only a dent in my wages for a couple of months prior, to make sure he has the best surfing gear bought for him; but also that the next couple of days may involve some eating out at restaurants, a bit of fast food and a lot of cake. (Shukran to Zaheera‘s Patisserie for making the most divine carrot cake).

For most women, the first thought that crosses your mind is the extra food intake, the increase in your waist line and the lack of time to exercise. I am definitely one of those women, after gaining ALOT of weight when I got married (don’t we all!) my training and nutrition is now back on track and the last thing I need is a long weekend of indulging and no time to get to the gym. What should I do now? PANIC!

Ok no, there is no need to panic. Yes, I missed my gym session this morning due to cooking the hubby and brother in law breakfast, and I won’t make it tonight as we are going straight out for dinner at V&A Waterfront; but I am determined to find ways around sliding straight back down the slippery slide of unnecessary weight gain.

Firstly, I listened to my own advice, and as in my last post I am going to do make the most of the little extras; I am going to persuade my husband that a romantic stroll is needed after the family disperses tonight, so I can at least get my body moving a little. And tomorrow I will try and squeeze in a 30 min high intensity gym session to get my blood pumping a little.

But, I am still dodging the main component of this whole fiasco and article topic. Eating out! Where ever you go, it is still not going to be lekker in terms of health. Even places that claim to be healthy, are generally still pumped full of sugar, oil, additives, preservatives and chemicals. After all, an item as simple as diet coke is only diet due to an ingredient that may cause CANCER with long term use…

So here I have written 10 essential tips that I use myself when eating out, and I hope you find them helpful too:


  1. Don’t be super hungry when you leave the house! Make sure you have still eaten your previous meals as normal, so you are not ready to munch away at a massive 3 course meal the second you walk into the restaurant. 
  2. Drink at least one glass of water before you order, this will help suppress your appetite a little and so stopping you choose the biggest (and most expensive) item on the menu. Drinking water aids digestion and prevents the body storing as much unnecessary food while eating.
  3. Choose wisely! Don’t starve yourself or pick something just because you think it will be healthy (generally salads AREN’T, check the contents); but don’t be ridiculous, you know you will enjoy the chicken breast with sweet potato mash, you don’t need a beef burger and fries.
  4. Sip water slowly as you eat. Again this will help you to feel fuller without eating as much food. This also aids digestion.
  5. Chew your food properly! This will notify your stomach of the amount you are eating and help with digestion. Rather than just swallowing it down without a second glance.
  6. If you are offered extra fries from someone else, don’t take them! Seems simple, but I know you were wanting to! You also don’t need that garlic bread with that pasta, trust me!
  7. Try to order only one course, a main course is enough food and a starter just causes you to FORCE the main course into your body… Really?
  8. Stay awake from milk shakes and cool drinks, just added rubbish your body doesn’t need. If you enjoy your food you don’t need any other flavours during a meal.
  9. If you really can’t stay away from dessert, give yourself at least half hour after eating before you order or go to somewhere else for it. This will give your body time to realise how much it has eaten and you will only order what you actually want, rather than eating for the sake of eating.
  10. Take a walk after, even if it means pretending you forgot where you parked your car. This helps your body digest the food well and uses up a bit of the energy you have just consumed.

Now you are ready to drink your last glass of water and sleep lekker after a lovely evening meal!


These are just a few ideas I use myself, if you have your own then please do share. Remember, always know what is in your food and don’t make eating junk food a regular habit. But once in a while is not going to kill you (inshaAllah!), so just be sensible, use your common sense and have a great outing!

Talking about this is making me hungry now, so it’s time for me to head to work.

Salaam 🙂

Safiyah Esack – 28/02/2013

2 thoughts on “The fear of eating out.

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