If you are on a diet and trying to lose some weight, you might dread eating out at restaurants. You’ve been going so strong with your meals at home but when your friends or family want to go out to eat you might feel like your hard work is going out the door. Restaurant food typically will be higher in calories, larger portions, and focused on taste, not health. It can be hard to know that you can’t control everything that the cook uses to prepare your dish. There are somethings people tend to do to avoid messing up their diet. 1) they avoid going out to eat altogether, which is no fun at all for anyone. I don’t want you missing out on all the fun. 2) they end up ruining their diet and eat anything that comes your way. Definitely, do NOT do this. It will just make you feel worse about yourself later on. Instead, you should follow these tips to successfully tackle eat at restaurants.
1. Look at the Menu Ahead of Time
Being able to look up the restaurant’s menu is a huge plus for health-conscious people. It gives you the opportunity to choose your food ahead of time, and not succumb to impulse orders. When looking at the menu in the restaurant you see all the delicious high-calorie foods that you want to eat. You might even want to order one of those dishes to indulge one. However, when you look at the menu out of the restaurant you see those same dishes, but you don’t get an opportunity to order those dishes. Being able to know what you want before you enter the restaurant allows you to not have to look at the other dishes and just be focused on your dish.
2. Ask for No Bread
A lot of restaurants give you complimentary bread and immediately everyone attacks the bread bowl. The bread might not come alone. Along comes butter, oil, and maybe some vinegar, ready to boost your calorie intake in a snap. Depending on the bread and other extra additions, you could be digging a big hole. More so, when the bread comes out people tend to eat sort of unconsciously. One-piece of bread won’t fill you up like a meal would do and that makes you keep eating more and more bread. It acts as an appetizer and something that gives you calories before you even have your meal, which you might not finish because you mindlessly snacked on bread.
3. Pick Low-Calorie Sides
Entrees at restaurants can come with a choice of a number of sides. From french fries to macaroni and cheese, they usually have a lot of choices that are very high in calories. To counteract this, you should choose the lower-calorie sides that still fill you up and tastes good. Add a side of vegetables to gain some valuable nutrients or a fruit bowl to hit that sweet tooth you might have. Making smart choices when going out to eat is what will keep you on track. Try to forget those other high-calorie sides weren’t even an option.
4. Ask for Sauces or Dressing on the Side
The sauces or dressing on foods can almost be categorized as secret calories. You still notice it, unlike oils, but its something you don’t really think about when describing what you ate. It is a big deal when you are trying to limit your calorie intake. Sauces can range from the lower end ketchup and mustard to the high-end side including thousand island sauce or the restaurant’s secret sauce. It all adds up and is something to be cautious with. When ordering you should ask for any sauces on the side so you are able to choose how much you want to use for your dish. Typically the restaurant will put more sauce than what is needed for your dish, so this is a way to give you a little control with how many calories you intake.
5. Ask for a To-Go-Box
Restaurant meals can come in large portions and is the reason why they are high in calories. But if you can turn that one meal into two different meals than you won’t feel bad about eating out in restaurants. Asking for a to-go-box beforehand makes potentially overeating less likely. When you take away food from your plate, it immediately eliminates the opportunity to eat more than you need. It shrinks your portion size and at the same time tricks your mind into thinking that is the only food you will be eating. If you don’t put aside some of your food, you might first eat too much and your calorie intake skyrockets. Then if you see there is only a little bit left, you may have that thought in your head where you think you have to eat the rest because you don’t want to take it home. Putting aside food takes away that, and it gives you another delicious meal tomorrow. A win-win!
Have you tried any of these tips or have any different ones? Let me know.