It’s hard to keep the appetite in check when you’re eating out. Most times, going out feels like a mini-break from healthy eating. One trip to your favorite restaurant could lead to overeating. But it doesn’t have to be! In today’s post, we are dishing out tips on how you can enjoy yourself and still lose weight whenever you dine out:
1. Check the Menu in Advance
Eating healthy starts at planning ahead. Before heading out to eat, review the menu first. Most restaurants post their menu online. A quick search is all it takes to plan your meal. Start by checking out the healthy options. Mentally list down likely dishes you want to order. If the menu includes the calorie count, factor that into your decision. By planning your meal ahead, you don’t feel rushed when you’re there.
2. Watch Out for Complementary Snacks
Most restaurants offer free nibbles while customers wait for their food. These snacks include bread, chips, fried nuts, etc. These light snacks do not look much, but these are actually loaded with calories. And if you’re hungrily waiting for your food, you end up losing track of how many nibbles you ate! By the time your food arrives, you’ve polished off all the bread. The key is to pace yourself. Keep track of the food you eat and resist the temptation to eat more than you should.
3. Stick to Water
Tempted to order sodas or a special smoothie to go with your food? Stick to water instead. Some smoothies are over 250 in calories. And you can’t compensate this by eating less food when you’re out. So don’t order fruity, sugary beverages. Go for plain water! It’s refreshing, filling and it has zero calories. Sipping water before a meal also keeps you from eating more! Hydration is also key to faster metabolism and digestion!
4. Portion Control
Perhaps the most important thing to remember when eating out is controlling your portions. According to health experts, controlling portions when eating out shaves more than 300 calories off your meal! What’s more, controlling your portions makes you feel 75% more satisfied with the meal. You don’t have to keep counting the calories too. Just keep the portions conservative so you can enjoy your meal and not feel deprived at all.
5. Opting For Healthy Salads
When ordering a salad or making your own salad at a salad bar, hold the croutons, cheese, bacon bits and all types of creamy dressings. These bits are high in calories and saturated fat! The same thing goes for chicken or tuna salads drenched in mayonnaise! Be smart about the salad you want to order. Limit the selection to greens, fruits, and low-fat dressing. We recommend vinaigrette to flavor your salad instead of mayo or creamy dressing.
6. Go For Lean Meat
If you are ordering red meat, keep the portions conservative. A 10-ounce steak packs 780 calories! If you must have red meat, we recommend going for healthier cuts – including flank, strip or tenderloin. Eat about 5 ounces of red meat. That’s about the size of the palm of your hand. If the restaurant does not offer smaller meat portion, consider sharing your food or taking half of the meat home.