Tricks to Stick To Your Diet When Eating Out
By Nadine A Douglas
Most of us, at some point in our lives, eat out. According to the National Restaurant Association, Americans eat out approximately four times a week and the US spend about $1 billion a day on eating out alone. Some people eat out because they don’t enjoy cooking. Others eat out a lot because they have to entertain clients for business meetings. Maybe your workplace eats out every Friday at lunch. Whatever the reason is, dining out can prove to be very challenging if you don’t stick to your eating plan.
“The more control you have over the food in front of you, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to stick to a lower-calorie eating-out plan,” says Kathryn M. Kolasa, PhD, RD, professor and section head of nutrition services and patient education of the family medicine and pediatrics departments of Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University.
So can you stick to healthier foods in restaurants? Here are a few simple tricks that may help you stay trim, even with lots of temptation all around you…
1.) Try to decide what you will eat before getting to the restaurant. View the menu online or call ahead to know what the restaurant offers.
2.) Don’t arrive with an empty stomach. Eat a healthy snack before getting to the restaurant.
3.) Don’t feel pressured to order what other people are ordering – It can be tempting to order to a double cheeseburger and fries… especially when other people you are dining with are having it. But stick to your plan – resist the temptation.
4.) Ask the waiter to make a recommendation – healthy does not need to mean tasteless food. Make sure you give your meal choice some thought before ordering.
5.) Avoid eating fried foods, choose a grilled alternative instead.
6.) Ask what meals are low fat or low in calories. Many restaurants cater to persons who prefer healthier meal alternatives.
7.) Avoid the bread basket.
8.) Skip the fries, order a side salad or steamed vegetables instead.
9.) Stop eating when you feel full and ask the plate to be taken away. Overeating can be a sure fire way of piling on those pesky pounds and it is far too tempting to pick at an unfinished meal.
10. ) Order water with your meal, another good alternative is sparkling water with a slice of lemon.
11.) Ask the restaurant to substitute refined pasta or rice dishes with a wholegrain equivalent.
12.) Share your starter or dessert with someone else.
People are becoming increasingly more health conscious and more and more restaurants, especially chain restaurants, are realising the importance of catering to the growing demand of healthier alternatives. This can make eating out a lot less challenging for the weight conscious.
Most importantly, you need to have a plan so that you can ultimately enjoy the experience! You do not want eating out to become a chore and something you avoid because you are trying to be healthy.
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Nadine ‘Diet Coach’ Douglas lost over 25 pounds after being overweight most of her adult life. She now runs a successful weight loss website which gives information about great resources which can help you lose weight and be healthy for long term success.
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