Would you benefit from dining out tips designed to help you make wise food choices? The National Restaurant Association reports that American restaurants bring in a total of 500 billion dollars in sales annually! Imagine what that figure must be worldwide! With grocery prices soaring, the majority of mothers working outside of the home, and so many people working long hours and living hectic lives, is it any wonder that we don’t cook anymore?
Obesity rates and health-issues are not deterring people from eating out. Given this fact, it’s absolutely imperative that individuals learn how to make healthy choices. These quick and easy dining out tips can help you stay on the path to success as you reach for your weight loss goals.
Never show up at a restaurant starving. If your hunger is over the top, eat a small salad before leaving home or order a cup of soup to eat before you place an additional order.
It’s important to plan out your meal, at least in general terms, before arriving at the restaurant. You may not know the exact menu, but you’ll be able to guess your options. Think about all the courses, from appetizers to dessert. Come up with a plan and stick to it when you arrive.
Split a meal with your dining companion or order an appetizer as your meal. Save money and have room for dessert. If that’s not an option for you then eat half and carry the other half home.
Always order dressings and sauces on the side. You can dip your fork and get plenty of flavor and very few calories. Never order fried foods. Instead, ask for food that is roasted, broiled, or grilled. Understand that anything “breaded”, “sauteed”, “au gratin”, “scalloped”, or “creamed” is going to be high in fat. Know too, that foods described as “smoked”, “barbecued”, or “teriyaki” are high in sodium.
One of the most important dining out tips is to limit your alcohol intake. If you must have a drink, order one glass of wine or one cocktail. These tend to be “empty calories″ and when you drink, you’re less likely to stick to your plan. If you must have dessert, order one and share it with your dining companions.
It’s a good dining out tip to ask the waiter to hold the breadbasket or chip basket. If that’s not possible due to the wishes of your companions, then stick to your plan. One piece of bread without butter or a half dozen chips with salsa would be more than sufficient.
Remember that it takes your stomach 20 minutes to realize it has had enough, so slow down your eating process! Eat slowly and really enjoy each bite. Put down your fork and wait a minute between bites. Focus on the conversation instead of your food. Be aware of your hunger and stop eating when you’re no longer hungry. Don’t wait to be full!
Buffets can be very challenging for the dieter. Be sure to use a small plate when you serve yourself. Research shows that we fill the plate we have, so a smaller plate will help you eat less. When visiting the salad bar, choose lettuce, beans, and vegetables. Avoid the prepared salads that are usually high in calories and fat. Avoid also the croutons, seeds, and cheese. Don’t use creamy dressings. A light dressing is usually offered and if not, make your own with one tablespoon of olive oil and vinegar. When serving your own meal, stick to healthy vegetables and the carving station. Don’t be tempted by the variety of desserts. Choose one small one and stick to that.