I can honestly tell you that I feel so much better now! Healthy and happy, yanno!
So onward to the topic at hand -- eating out.
If you are like a large part of America, you are eating out numerous times a week and not just for special occasions.
Now the problem arises when we eat out like it is a special occasion numerous times a week.
There's a reason obesity has tripled in the US since 980.
sedentary lifestyle + high caloric/high fat diet + fewer fruits/veg = obesity
It all comes down to choosing your meal wisely and moderation.
We can't always order the chicken fried chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy, but we can order that on occasion while eating a healthier diet the rest of the time.
So the key to eating out is in the preparation. Here are a few ideas:
- go online and look at the menu of various restaurants and check the nutritional information
- have the sauces, gravies or salad dressing on the side
- Substitute. For example: instead of eating Chicken Piccata on a bed of pasta, ask for the Chicken Piccata to be placed on a bed of spinach.
- Order a smaller portion of steak or other protein. Ask for it grilled, but hold the butter basting.
- Find out what's in that salad before you order it. You might do better splitting a meal with your loved one and ordering a side dinner salad.
I've had numerous friends lamenting about their weight, and yet when I suggest they start tracking their food, or measuring portions, they become irate and complain that they don't want to think about food all the time.
Well, you know what?
NOT thinking about food has caused them to eat indiscriminately -- anything and everything, and it put them in the place they are currently are--OBESE.
Harsh words, right?
But I want to be harsh, because I don't want to lose my friends simply because they didn't care enough about themselves to start getting healthy!
Okay, deep breath . . . I'm back under control and off my soapbox now. You can eat out and lose weight. It's all a matter of how you approach the eating out.
When we go on vacation, we usually do the meal plan at WDW. One of the benefits of the meal plan is that you can make reservations ahead of time, which in turn, allows me to peruse the various menu items ahead of time. I can decide what I might eat two weeks prior to eating the meal. This is a good trick even at home. If you have a smart phone, you can look up a restaurant's menu.
Another biggie for me was giving myself permission to leave food on the plate. This was probably the hardest technique of all, since we've been programmed to clean our plate. You don't have to do this.
If you splurge for lunch, then consider a light salad for dinner. Do not have two big meals the same day.
Salads are good if you know what is on them. So many salads are more calories than the high calorie meal your spouse orders! Be aware of cheeses, corn, peas, croutons, tortilla strips, nuts, bacon bits, black beans, etc. High calorie is high calorie even if you call it a salad! In fact, one of the worst offenders, calorie-wise is the Cobb Salad. Salad dressing on the side is good, but vinaigrettes are better than cream dressings. It's all about your choices.
Many restaurants offer a 'light' portion. Ask them what it means. Is it a smaller portion, or is it truly 'lightened'? Appetizers are a good way to get a nice meal without splurging too much. I've been known to order grilled shrimp appetizer and have my hubs order a side salad with his meal. . . . I get the salad.
Take your time when you order out and choose wisely. You can lose weight by eating out, you just have to be smart about your choices.