A good way to eat healthy and lose weight is to eat at home and cook your food, since eating out can pose plenty of temptations which can push anyone trying to lose weight off track. Contrary to common belief, however, you can still eat healthy even while dining out as long as you know what to do and how to choose your food. Keeping your guard up is the first step and is necessary when it comes to eating in fast-food joints and restaurants. Here are several tips which can help you steer clear from some diet offenders, without having to miss out on all the fun.
Skip Fast-Food Joints if You Can
Fast-food joints usually cook their food the same way. All foods are pre – cooked, pre mixed, prepared beforehand following the same timed procedures. They fry chicken in the same amount of oil for the same number of minutes each and every single day; burgers are made with the same ingredients, grilled simultaneously and prepared with the same cheese and special sauce so that each and every meal comes out identical as the others. This gives you very little option to make special requests as to how to cook your food in a healthier version. Restaurants are better options, as you can speak to the waiter or request the cook for any special healthy instructions. However, if you must at a fast-food joint, choose their healthiest meal available (most fast-food joints have healthy or diet meals especially designed for people watching their weight) and do not supersize.
Keep Your Order Simple
A simple order is very much less likely to harbor extra calories and hidden fats. As you know, restaurants use plenty of oil, salt, cheese, butter and even sugar in sauces, stews, soups and secret recipes. Ordering a dish that’s close to naked – let’s say steamed, broiled or grilled fish or poultry, with fresh greens or steamed veggies would be an ideal way to order if you plan to eat healthy. If a restaurant’s recipe includes a sauce or dressing, ask them to place the dressing on the side, so you can control how much you put on your food.
When you’re in a restaurant, never be afraid to ask and make special requests for your meal. Here are several questions that you may request them to do several things, and this includes them:
- Using olive oil instead of butter for the meal, or for pre-mixed salad dressing
- Trimming fat from meat, and serve poultry without the skin
- Leaving dressings, butter or gravy off your meal and serving them on a different dish or saucer
- Using less oil when cooking
- Reducing the amount of meat in your meal
- Adding more vegetables instead of rice or buttered potatoes (you can offer to pay for this, but usually restaurants offer more vegetables happily without charging you anything)
Know What To Eat First
Ask the waiter to skip the bread basket at the very beginning of the meal. You might was well skip the soup as well, especially if it’s a cream-of-something-soup. Order a salad first (make sure it’s fresh and green instead of a cream-laden salad) and eat it. Studies show that individuals who finish up a huge serving of vegetable salad before a meal are more likely to eat less when the time comes for the main course.
Choose What You Drink
Steer away from any soda or beverages containing alcohol. Your best bet would be water, but if you want something with a bit of flavor you can go for tea or diet soda instead. If you really want to order an alcoholic drink, skip the fancy ones such as margaritas and pina coladas. The sugary addition mixed into these drinks only adds more calories. Opt for simpler and barer drinks such as a glass of wine, a bottle of light beer, a simple martini or vodka and tonic.
Don’t forget to drink water throughout the meal. Drinking water helps slow you down while eating. You get to enjoy your meal more this way, plus it also allows your brain to register that you’re full, before you empty your plate.
Read Between The Lines
Sometimes entrée names may sound inconspicuous, but anything that uses the word breaded, crispy, saucy, creamy and stuffed is most likely to be loaded with saturated or Trans fats. Some other descriptions to look out for include buttered, pan – fried, cheese sauce, sautéed, au lait and a la mode.
Pace yourself with Hara Hachi Bu
Japan's Okinawa island hosts many of the world's longest living persons. One of the reasons why they credit their longevity is their tradition of not eating any more when their stomachs feel 80 percent full. The hara hachi bu tradition is something you should practice as food often takes time to travel to the part of our stomach where we will feel full. Slow down when you eat and when you feel like you are getting full, stop and save the remaining food for your next meal which will also save you money!
Share Your Food
When ordering, ask the waiter to box half of the main course before serving it on the table. Bring it home and eat the other half later. Or, if you are dining with someone else you can split the entre. Chances are, most restaurants have hefty servings, with each plate containing at least two or three times more than the recommended amount per serving.
Skip the Dessert
After successfully eating healthy while dining outside, you might find tempting to reward yourself with a mouth watering dessert. But, if you do, then you defeat the whole purpose of eating healthy and making right food choices when dining out. The best thing to do is to skip the dessert if you can. But if you’re one to end a meal with a sweet treat, opt to have it when you get home. You can always have a small piece of chocolate or at least a scoop of ice cream at home. This would make a better choice that some syrup laden banana–split or a big slice of an icing chocolate–shaving topped moist chocolate cake. An exception would be if the restaurant offers fruit as dessert.
With a little discipline you can eat healthy while dining out - it will take some work and getting used to, but we assure you it is definitely possible. After eating for a while, you will be able to taste the fat, salt, and sugar in the bad foods and drinks. Once you get to this stage, you are well on your way to become healthy and you'll set the course for weight loss. If you haven't joined a gym, find a gym fast with our website directory. Commitment to a gym helps if you are serious about getting rid of the extra pounds.