Just because you have started a lifestyle of eating well and calorie cutting it doesn’t mean you have to lock yourself in a dark closet and hide away from social gatherings. Here are some easy tips to remember for dining out without over doing it on the calories.
Drink plenty of water. Consume a glass before leaving to eat out. Drink another glass once you arrive and continue to sip throughout your meal. This will cause you to fill up and not over eat. If our body is dehydrated it may cause you to feel hungry and over eat. It’s our bodies way trying to hydrate from food. Water is the cheapest nutrient available for our body yet we drink so little. So drink up!
Sharing A Meal
When dining with a friend, sibling or significant other, chances are you have many things in common, including taste in food. Look over the menu together and decide what looks good to order. Tell the server that you are sharing and have them split the order onto two plates. You have just magically turn a 1,000 calorie meal into 500 calories and saved a bit of money at the same time. Simple as that.
Cut Down on Bread
Cutting down on the bread. Easier said than done. If bread is included, place it at the far end of the table, out of your reach. Remove croutons from your salad and leave 2 or 3 just for the taste. When ordering a burger, remove the top bun. Then eat your burger with a fork and knife. You will get a taste of the bottom bun with every bite. You will hardly notice that the top bun is missing. This will automatically cut 300 calories from your burger. Burgers are a high protein option, it’s the bun that does the caloric damage.
Marinara vs. Alfredo
Always, always go for a marinara – tomato based sauce option. Alfredo sauces as high in fat and calories. I personal only consume Alfredo type sauces at home, where I can choose the ingredients to create a lower fat and calorie version.
Choose an Appetizer as Your Meal
Often times appetizers are just a smaller portion of a larger meal somewhere else on the menu. If you still feel that an appetizer will not be enough to tackle your hunger, order a salad as your first course, than your appetizer to be served as your main meal.
Order Sauce and Dressing on the Side
Restaurants tend to drown food in sauces and dressings, so feel free to be that picky customer that orders everything on the side. This way you have control over the amount of extra calorie going into your mouth. All you need is a little amount to get the flavor. Get the idea.
Choose your meal and stick to it. By ordering first you will not likely sway when hearing what other people are having. Usually the person who orders first tends to set the ordering style of the table. When one person makes a healthy menu choice, often others follow the flow!
Split large Meals
Most restaurant portions these days are enough to feed two people, if not three. Once your meal arrives, immediately split it in half and request a carryout container. Take it home and you’ll have lunch ready to go for the next day.
Calorie and fitness apps are a great way to hold yourself accountable. Before placing you order for drinks or appetizers. Plug into the app so you can keep track of what you will be eating. If you are planning on dessert, an app will help you budget your calories accordingly. I myself use My Fitness Pal.
I love dessert as much as anyone. Discuss with your fellow diners if they are interested in sharing a dessert. Order one dessert and split it amongst yourselves. Usually by the time dessert arrives you’re already full. So all you really need is just a bite or two to satisfy that sweet tooth.
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