The Rock Analogy

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Eating out is one of the main things you need to know how to manage in the fat loss lifestyle.

Many people have a negative opinion of eating out because what we tend to do is think in black and white. 

I know when I first began personal training, I would have my clients sign a contract saying they would not eat out for 12 weeks.  Thankfully, I have learned through the years that this is really a dieting mindset and not a fat loss mindset.

There is this whole idea that you need to be eating organic (and I am a fan of organic) and you need to pay attention to pesticides (and I do my best to avoid them)  and estrogen production (and I prefer to purchase hormone-free meats) BUT,  you can really drive yourself crazy if you think all the negative impacts of food. 

If we were to examine even the healthiest food, we are bound to find something not so good about it.  One thing to keep in mind when eating out is using the big rock and small rock analogy.

If I have a bucket and I am going to fill it with rocks. 

The first thing I can do is get 2-3 big rocks and place in that bucket that takes up most of the volume of the bucket. 

I could fill that bucket up again by dumping in a bunch of pebbles and fill in all the gaps.   If I have sand I could also fill the bucket a third time to fill it even more and maybe even add water to fill to the top.  

If at that point I reach in and grab those 2-3 big rocks, I am not going to have many pebbles, water or sand left in the bucket.

So this is how we need to think about fat loss and lifestyle.  

Supplements, pesticides, organic this and that, all these other considerations that ARE important and can make a difference, but they are not nearly as important as paying attention to how much carbs are in your diet, how often are you combining fat and carbs together or alcohol/fat/carbs, or are you exercising, are you sleeping enough.

It doesn’t matter how many supplements you take, that you eat nothing but organic food because those are the pebbles, water, and sand.  

If you don’t have your big rocks in the bucket, those things are not going to help you much. 
This is key for fat loss and health.   This is why you see some people faithfully taking supplements every day and not having results.   They have not taken care of the “big rocks’ first.

So back to eating out.

Some people think eating out is bad and it is impossible to eat out and have a fat loss lifestyle. 

The fact is fat loss should be convenient in fact if you know what you are doing you can eat out and lose fat big time.   We have to go back to choices versus decisions.

A choice is something you choose without consideration or much thought.

You choose just because you feel like it and do it ahead of time.
A decision is made based on considering other people and where we are, etc.


So if I am going to make a decision in terms of what I eat, then I will get to the restaurant, look at the menu, see what everyone else is getting and possibly end up with something that isn’t likely to be fat loss friendly.

If I choose before I even get to the restaurant what I am going to eat, let’s say, I choose to get a salad with meat on it because almost no matter where we go, I can get that.   Or if I know we are going to have Mexican, I will either get fajitas without the tortillas, etc. When I go to McDonald's, I am not going to decide on a burger and fries; I already made a choice before I got there that I will get a salad.  

Then there is no need to have to make decisions when I get there that could lead me in the wrong direction.

What if the place you go to does not have a salad as you planned?   Well, get a burger, add extra vegetables, throw the buns away, and now you have a burger salad.
What if someone was nice and brings you a sandwich for lunch?   Well, you already chose to not have carbs with your lunch, so just eat the middle and throw the bread away. It won’t matter that the middle is high sodium cold cuts or full of nitrates, those are little things, the big rock was keeping to the fat loss formula by not mixing the fat and carbs together.

BIG ROCK--- Choices versus Decisions
BIG ROCK---- Don’t mix fat/carbs and/or alcohol
BIG ROCK ----  Get 8 hours of sleep

SMALL ROCK ----- how much salt is in it?
SMALL ROCK -----  is that too sweet to eat?
SMALL ROCK -----  it is not Organic

If you take care of the BIG ROCKS, the small ones are not going to affect you like they would if you didn’t take care of the BIG ROCKS.

We are always in situations where we are called to eat out for special occasions.  

The goal here is to manage your fat loss by using the big rock/small rock analogy so you can go into any situation knowing what to do ahead of time, choosing what to do so you are not faced with confusion, decisions, and guilt.