If you are trying to eat healthy or just trying to shed a few pounds, one of my first recommendations is do not eat out more than one or two times per week. Work or social obligations may sometimes make this difficult. If you find yourself eating out frequently, here are a few tips to follow.
• Check out the menu ahead of time. If you know where you are going, pull up the menu online and check out the healthy choices. Look for items that are lower in sodium and lower in calories. Some restaurants have calories listed. If you know ahead of time what you plan on ordering, you will not be tempted by what others are choosing. Also, try to order first and set the pace for the meal. You will be surprised at how many follow your lead.
• Skip the buffets. If your friends insist on a restaurant with a buffet, go ahead and order off the menu and skip the buffet.
• Keep your meal simple. Order grilled meat and simple vegetables. Make substitutions – steamed vegetables rather than French fries or mashed potatoes. Baked potatoes are healthy when eaten plain. Skip anything that is described as “loaded,” “cheesy,” or “creamy.”
• Drink water or calorie free beverages. Calories from sodas, sweetened teas, and alcoholic beverages can add up. These are just added calories that will not make you feel full.
• When ordering salad, ask for the dressing on the side. If salad comes with bacon, ham, cheese, croutons, etc., ask that they be left off. A salad loaded with high sodium, high fat toppings and loads of salad dressing probably has more calories than the burger and fries.
• Skip the bun. Most breads in restaurants are not whole grains so just ask for that sandwich without the bun or bread. Reminder: just because they offer a wheat bun, it does not equal whole grain!
• Skip or split dessert. Most desserts served are HUGE with a high amount of calories. Order one dessert and forks for all. A couple of bites will satisfy the sweet tooth. Or order dessert only on very special occasions. You will appreciate it more when it is a special treat and not the norm!
Want more information about making healthy choices and changing your lifestyle?
Contact Janet Hunt at firstname.lastname@example.org or 256-614-3530 to find out when her next Weight Management and Lifestyle Class is offered.
Janet Hunt is a Certified Personal Trainer and can be reached at 256-614-3530 to schedule an appointment.
By: Janet Hunt