Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Lesson 5: Eating Healthy When Eating Out

Eating out can be challenging when trying to lose weight (or even maintain for that matter). This lesson presents 4 keys to healthy eating out:
  1. Plan ahead
  2. Ask for what you want
  3. Take charge of what's around you
  4. Choose foods carefully

Plan Ahead
  • Pick where you eat carefully. Go somewhere that you know offers low-fat/calorie choices. If there is a restaurant that is challenging for you - don't go there. Avoid 'all you can eat' places - DANGER!
  • Do a little research. Call ahead or look online for nutritional information and choices. Plan what to order before you go so you won't be tempted once there.
  • Prepare yourself. If you know you will be eating out later in the week, budget your calories to allow extras for your day out. That day, watch your calories earlier/later in the day. Eat some fruit or drink water before you go so you aren't 'starving' when you get to the restaurant. 
  • Other things to consider. Don't drink alcohol before eating. For evenings at a friend's, bring a safe side dish from home to share with others.
Ask For What You Want
  • Think, When Harry Met Sally . Ask for lower-fat/calorie options cooked in a healthy way. For dressing, ask for them to be served on the side. Don't be afraid to ask for items that are not on the menu.
  • Ask for the amounts you want. You can ask for a half serving. Or, just ask to box half of it up to take home. Also consider ordering just an appetizer or something from the children's menu.
  • Be NICE. Be decisive, but not threatening. 
Take Charge of What's Around You
  • Be the first to order.  Don't be influenced by those around you.
  • Keep foods off the table. Have chips/salsa, bread, etc removed or place on the other side of the table where you can't reach them. 
  • Ask for your plate to be removed when you are finished eating. No picking on what's left!
  • Watch Alcohol. There are often large amounts of empty calories and can cause you to let your guard down.
  • If at a social gathering - stay away from the food table!
Choose Foods Carefully
  • You know what to do...
  • Stay away from fried foods. 
  • Watch out for fatty sauces. 
  • Trim visible fat.

Where are your favorite places to eat? How will you change your habits to fit your new lifestyle?

1 comment:

  1. I find that some restaurants are so unwilling to cater to someones needs. I generally claim I have food allergies just to get what I want. Telling someone I am gluten intolerant and lactose intolerant usually inspires a better answer then, "I am watching what I eat"