Eating out is fun and a big part of everyone’s social life. Even when you are following a weight loss program, eating out can be wisely incorporated into your plan. Here are some helpful tips so you can enjoy a nice meal out without feeling the guilt.
- Always check out the menu of the restaurant before you go. Look for good protein, good fats, and veggies options. Look for words like grilled, broiled, or steamed. Avoid words like fried, breaded, smothered, and creamy.
- Have a light snack about half an hour before you go. If you arrive at the restaurant feeling really hungry, you are likely to eat more and maybe even end up having more carbs. Have a protein shake or a greek yogurt or even a piece of a low carb bread with peanut butter or almond butter on it.
- When ordering, ask how the food is prepped – is it grilled, or fried, or sauteed? What is the base of the sauce? If it is cream based, can they put less cream? Try to see if they can customize it for you as much as possible.
- Make healthier choices when ordering. Ask for extra veggies whether it is in pasta or on top of a pizza. Ask for brown rice or quinoa in place of white rice. Ask for salad dressing or any sauces on the side. And definitely skip the sweetened beverages – stick to unsweetened iced tea or plain or sparkling water. If you want an alcohol drink, limit it to one or two drinks and pick a very dry red or white wine which tends to be lower in carbs. Sip the wine slowly so you can make it last through dinner.
- Eat slowly. It takes the brain about 20 minutes to catch up with the stomach to realize that it’s full. So, take smaller bites and truly savor the flavors of food. Enjoy dinner conversion and don’t forget to put your fork and knife down between bites.
- Add vegetable side dishes to your main meal to feel full.
- Skip the pre-dinner bread if you can. But if you have to have it, plain bread or yeast rolls are generally low in fat and calories. It is the butter and oil you add that increases the fat and calories. And limit yourself to one slice only. Start with soup and salad. Soup takes up space in the stomach making you feel full.
- If you are wanting dessert, try a latte or cappuccino. Or a dessert with berries. And if you really feel like having a rich dessert, share it with someone.
- Remember, you don’t have to finish everything on your plate. Most restaurants have large portion sizes. Ask for a doggy bag and take it home for the next day.
- Stay away from all-you-can-eat buffets. The temptation for overeating can be hard to resist at these places. And if you must go to a buffet, never go hungry. Check out the buffet for the items they have and fill up on lean proteins, veggies, and good fats.
Losing weight doesn’t have to be a drudgery. At Physician’s Premier Weight & Wellness Center, our passion is helping people enjoy life while losing unwanted weight. If you want more information about our programs or more resources for successful weight loss, contact us at https://healthymeweightloss.com/contact-us/