Eating Out Without Blowing Your Diet
These days eating is inevitable, we eat out for convenience, to socialize, or to just try something new. If you truly make a decision to change your eating habits and eat healthy, it is important to make sure that you can still eat out on occasion. Otherwise, you will likely not be able to sustain your diet on a long-term basis. Eating out without blowing your diet and feeling guilty is possible if you consider the following:
- Plan ahead! If you know you are going to be heading to a restaurant in the next couple of days, try to eat better ahead of time. Donâ€™t starve yourself, but have a salad for lunch if you know you may be having some extra calories at dinner.
- Always drink a glass of water while you are waiting for your food. This will make you feel full faster, and help you not to overeat.
- Avoid extra calories by skipping the free garlic bread, dinner rolls with butter, and/or breadsticks. These items can increase the calories, and fat of your meal without you even realizing it!
- If possible, have a side salad, soup, or steamed vegetables with your meal instead of fries.
- Always ask that the dressing, sauces, and gravies be put on the side, to ensure that you can control how much of it you are eating.
- Avoid the creamy stuff whenever possible. Creamy sauces, salad dressings and pasta dishes often have more calories than other options.
- Bring home the leftovers! Restaurant portion sizes are often far more than you should eat during one meal. Try to eat slow, and stop when you are full. Having a couple of extra bites when you are already full, just leads to discomfort, guilt, and extra calories.
- Consider how the food is cooked and the ingredients! Try to avoid foods that are fried or deep fried. Also, try to stay away from a lot of the extras (ie. the bacon added for $0.99, the extra sour cream for $0.75, or the extra cheese for $1.99), this will save you money and calories! In addition, try to find dishes made with whole grains, or with lots of fruits and/or vegetables.
- If you are eating more calories with dinner, try to shy away from too much alcohol. Alcohol can dramatically increase the calorie count of your meal, if you really want to drink, limit yourself to one or two glasses.
- If you have to have dessert, share it! Generally dessert portions are very big, and you are usually already full, so have half of the calories by splitting the dessert with someone.
Letâ€™s face itâ€¦itâ€™s nice to eat out every once and a while! Why not try to make the experience as healthy as possible, without completely depriving yourself.