STAYING ON TRACK WHILE DINING OUT
STAYING ON TRACK WHILE DINING OUT
Who doesn’t love to go out to eat? It’s both fun and sociable.
Unfortunately, it’s also how a lot of good, healthy eating intentions go right out the window. Studies have linked dining out with overeating and poor food choices.
That’s why we decided to share tips for enjoying your night out without throwing everything out the window.
1. Read the Menu Before You Go
If you know where you’re going ahead of time, get familiar with the menu before you go.
This helps avoid making unhealthy choices because you’re hungry and distracted. As we all know, the sight and smell of food can make sticking to a plan more difficult, especially if you are already hungry.
Choosing your food before you arrive makes it easier to avoid.
2. Drink Water Before and During Your Meal
Water is a fantastic choice for drinking before, with, and after a meal, especially if you drink it instead of sugar-sweetened drinks, because it can help reduce your calories and added sugar intake.
One study showed that people on a diet who drank 17 oz of water half an hour before a meal ate fewer calories and lost 44% more weight than those who didn’t.
So when asked what you’d like to drink, opt for water.
3. Check How Food is Cooked and Prepared
The way food is cooked can have a significant impact on the number of calories it contains.
Look for food that has been steamed, grilled, roasted, or poached. In general, these cooking methods equate to fewer calories. However, foods described on the menu as pan-fried, fried, crispy, crunchy, or sautéed will usually contain more.
4. Practice Mindful Eating
Mindful eating means being conscious about the choices around what you consume and being fully present during the eating process.
Take the time to savor the aromas and flavors of your meal and the thoughts and feelings that arise while you eat.
Plus, mindful eating has been linked with healthier food choices in restaurants. It can also help improve your self-control and prevent you from overeating.
5. Slow Down and Chew Thoroughly
This can be part of your mindful eating practice. Chewing your food thoroughly and eating slower could help you eat less by helping you feel fuller sooner.
Also, try putting your utensils down between mouthfuls. This is an excellent way to slow down and give your satiety signals some time to kick in.
6. Ask to Make A Healthy Swap
It should be no surprise that most people aren’t eating enough vegetables. But vegetables are great since they contain very few calories and many healthy fiber and nutrients.
For example, broccoli and spinach are extremely low in calories, but high in fiber, vitamin C, and all sorts of beneficial plant compounds.
Plus, increasing vegetable intake has also been linked to a reduced risk of many diseases including cancer, obesity, and depression.
So when you order your meal, ask the server to swap part of your meal, such as fries or potatoes, for extra vegetables or a salad. You’ll boost your vegetable intake and cut your calories.
7. Ask for Sauces or Dressings on the Side
Sauces and dressings can add a lot of extra calories, so ask for them on the side.
For example, two tablespoons of ranch salad dressing will add an extra 140 calories to your meal. And ask yourself, when was the last time a salad came with just two tablespoons of dressing on it?
Keeping it on the side will make it much easier to control the amount you eat.
8. Think About Your Whole Diet
It’s important to remember that sometimes, you just have to enjoy your food.
There will be times when you want to eat your favorite dishes for pleasure and not worry about whether it is healthy or not. That is why flexibility in diet and food choices are linked with better overall health and weight management.
If you are following healthy eating habits most of the time, then treat yourself.
An occasional indulgence can be a good thing.