Over the last few months, I have been running a simple survey in my weight loss clinics as to the most common obstacles to success in people’s weight loss goals. Having an adequate number of responses now, I hope to share the data with you on occasion with a small discussion about the concern.

One of the most frequently indicated barriers to success involved eating out. The question was phrased as follows: Eating out due to time constraints and the difficulty in making food limit my dietary success. With the high ‘Agree’ and ‘Strongly Agree’ response rates, this obviously poses a problem. The literature would agree.

Studies have shown that frequently eating out is a lifestyle trait that makes it difficult to reach body-related goals. The way that is phrased, the culpability is placed on eateries. I would disagree 100%. I would rather it be phrased as ‘not eating at home’ is a lifestyle trait that makes it difficult to reach body goals, as this is a far more accurate description for difficulty with weight control.

While eating at home does not necessarily imply eating healthy, it does give you more control and more options for better choices. It also limits hormonally irresponsible chemicals and additives that will most certainly limit your chances of success. Eating at home also provides the opportunity for family time and family meals – another strong indicator of body goal success, particularly in our children and young adults.

There is nothing wrong with occasionally eating away from home, but planning it makes a lot more sense than having to do it. If you fail to plan, plan to fail when it comes to body-related goals!

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