Eating out has become a large part of our society. Between work functions, celebrations, and simply being too tired to cook, it seems as though many Americans are eating out more than they are eating at home. Unfortunately, that means that we are leaving our health in the hands of a restaurant or chain whose main intentions are to reduce cost and to keep you coming back. Before you order lunch out again, read below for some important tips to enjoy dining out without compromising your weight loss goals.
1. Make an effort to dine out for special occasions or important functions rather than for convenience. It will become a treat to look forward to and the quality of the restaurant will most likely be better with the intention of enjoyment rather than ordering “quick” and “convenient” foods. You will also save $$$!
2. Due to the fact that restaurant portions can feed a family of 2-3 people, make sure to have the wait staff pack half the plate away before eating. Do this right away to immediately take the temptation to overeat the meal. If you are still hungry, you can always have the other half. Usually, you will find that you are actually satisfied.
3. Do not be afraid of kindly asking how your food is prepared. You are the paying customer and the only one with regard to your health.
4. Aim for grilled or broiled fishes or meats and choose veggies fresh or steamed.
5. Order sauces and dressings on the side.
6. Avoid creamy sauces, soups, and dressings. Instead choose vinaigrettes, marinara, and broth based soups.
7. Consume rice, pasta, potato, and other starches as sides to your protein source and veggies rather than ordering them as a main dish.
8. Share dessert with friends if you choose to order it! Other times choose a cup of coffee, tea, or fresh fruit instead.
Now that you are aware of the above considerations, you can probably imagine why dining out often is often associated with weight gain. However, if you follow these tips, you will enjoy a dinner out while substantially decreasing calories, fat, and excessive carbohydrates.