Weight Loss Tips for Dining Out
When you are trying to lose weight, you have to make a commitment to yourself to make healthier choices in all areas of your life. Occasionally eating at a restaurant is a part of life for many people. When dining out with your friends and family, it should be part of your weight loss plan to eat healthy at restaurants as well as at home.
Trying to eat healthy at a restaurant doesn’t mean that you have to deprive yourself of your favorite food, but if your favorite meal is high in calories make sure to practice moderation. Eating a smaller portion of your favorite dish can help you cut out some of the calories and still provide you with the satisfaction of enjoying good food.
Make a Calorie-Cutting Plan for Dining OutHaving a plan in place for eating at restaurants can be a tremendous help with staying on track with your weight loss. When you have thought about some of your possible food and beverage choices ahead of time, it may make it easier for you to follow through with selecting healthier menu items when it is time to place your order.
- Enjoy a Refreshing Glass of Water – Make water your drink of choice when dining out to cut down on calories. Choosing water or other low calorie beverages can help you save 100 or more calories that you may get from drinking soda, juice or other beverages.
- Hold the Bread - Skip the bread basket or limit yourself to one piece. Save your calories (and carbs) for the main course.
- Do Your Homework! – Find out if the restaurant you will be eating at has nutrition information available to the public. Taking a few minutes to look for nutritional information on the restaurant’s website can help you be better prepared to make a healthy choice when it is time to order your meal. Be careful though, there have been some recent studies that have shown that some menu items may contain quite a few more calories than the nutrition information shows.
- Move a Little More – If you are planning on having a big meal or eating higher-calorie menu items, then adding some extra physical activity to your day may be a good idea. Exercising or being more active may help burn extra calories to off-set some of the calories you will be consuming in your meal.
- Consider Your Options – Some restaurants offer “healthy” menu items for people concerned with their health or watching their weight. So, make sure to scan the menu for “healthy” or “low-calorie” meals. Some places even offer smaller portions of popular items that can help you save money and calories. Ordering your meal from the appetizer section may also be a help in practicing portion control.
- Eat Less Throughout the Day – If you know ahead of time that you will be dining out, then try to slightly cut calories in your other meals to keep a moderate calorie total for the entire day.
- Take it Easy on the Alcohol – If you decide to enjoy a beer, mixed drink or wine with your meal, limit your alcohol consumption to one drink. Alcohol generally carries a lot of calories and the calories might add up quickly without you realizing it.
- Play it Safe - Try to be sensible about your selections. Look for lean cuts of meat that are not fried (preferrably baked or grilled). If your meal comes with sauces, then ask to have them on the side. Order vegetables without added butter, sauces or cheeses. Think about starting your meal with a salad (dressing on the side) and ending it with fresh fruit for dessert.