Usually when you go on a diet all the tasty food is off limits, you certainly wouldn't dream of going out to eat! You may try to prepare most of your meals at home so that you can be assured that they are all healthy and low calorie choices. Let's get real, it's not always possible to eat all of your meals at home. So in an attempt to keep you from going into hiding until you're off your diet, here are a few tips for eating out without wrecking your whole diet plan.
BE PREPARED: The first thing you can do starts before you go out. You want to make sure that you're not famished when you get to the restaurant. If you're starving you will put yourself at risk of being tempted to order the most fattening thing on the menu. Try to curb your appetite with a small piece of fruit, some carrots, or a handful of peanuts before you go. This will also keep you from gorging down the bread and butter. Try to take the time to look at the restaurant menu online before you get to the restaurant, that way you can decide on the healthiest option without being rushed or pressured into making a poor choice.
CHOSE WISELY: Next thing, when you are trying to decide what to eat chose wisely. It’s best to avoid any fried foods; these will be higher in saturated fat and calories. Instead chose something baked, broiled, or sautéed. Avoid dishes that have been prepared in gravy or heavy sauces.
DON'T DRINK YOUR CALORIES: Another hidden calorie culprit could be what you're drinking. Of course any alcohol will be high in calories and sugar. Refills on your cola can add on hundreds of extra calories. Try to order water with lemon or a diet drink. This will give you more room to enjoy your actual meal.
CONTROL PORTION SIZES: In most restaurants today portions can be very large, usually double or even triple what a healthy portion should be. So here are a few ways to combat this problem. Opt for half of a portion size, most restaurants offer half a portion size of most entrees. You could also substitute an appetizer for your meal. You can ask that a portion of your meal be boxed when they bring it out so that you can take the other half home for lunch the next day. Consider splitting a meal with a friend, this will cut your calories in half.
STOP EATING: While it is tempting to finish everything on your plate try to stop eating when you are satisfied instead of when you’re completely full. Eat slowly and enjoy conversation with your friends. This way your food has time to digest and settle.
ASIAN: Always choose foods that are steamed, poached, roasted, or barbecued. Choose steamed rice over fried rice.
ITALIAN: Choose sautéed and grilled dishes. Choose red sauces over creamy sauces. Try piccata (lemon), sun-dried tomatoes, or crushed tomatoes. Choose half a serving size if available.
MEXICAN: Choose combinations of these foods. Spicy chicken, rice and black beans, salsa or picante sauce, and soft corn tortillas. Limit cheeses and sour cream.
AMERICAN FOOD: Choose grilled chicken over burgers. Choose baked potato or grilled veggies over french fries. Limit cheese, mayo, or special dressings.
These tips may seem simple but they can have a big impact! You can eat healthy and eat out, if you make the right choices. So next time you go out to eat apply some of these tips.