Eating out can not only be costly, it can also cost a lot in the way of calories. An average dinner in a restaurant can chock up a hefty 1,000 calories or more. If there is no specific diet menu in the restaurant in which you are dining, how can you possibly stick to a diet let alone still lose weight? There is a way that you can eat out and continue to lose weight when you are dieting. You just have to know how to navigate a menu.
Any restaurant menu can be a diet menu if you know how to weed through it. Simply put, you have to order the right foods for success and avoid the ones that will bring you down. If a diet emenu restaurant is not available in the restaurant you frequent, try these tips to help you order a dinner that is both healthy and low calorie.
Tip 1: Avoid alcoholic beverages
If this is the only tip you follow, you will be avoiding considerable calories that you can put to better use in your meal. Try sipping on a beverage such as an unsweetened iced tea or a seltzer with fresh lemon. You will be glad you made this shift when you consider the massive number of calories you will save by ordering a low cal beverage right at the start of your meal.
Tip 2: Start your meal with a fresh vegetable salad
By a food ordering system a colorful salad full of fresh greens and a variety of other vegetables, you will not only be working toward filling your daily recommended 5-a-day quota of vegetables, but you will be helping to fill up on the healthy part of your meal leaving less room for high-calorie, unhealthy portions. Ask your server to eliminate any cheese or croutons that might come with the salad and opt for the dressing on the side. Preferably choose a low fat dressing option or ask for oil and vinegar that you can use to dress the salad yourself. (Oil and vinegar with a squeeze of fresh lemon makes for a wonderful, refreshing and heart healthy option.) When you do order a dressing, it is best to avoid creamy dressings and opt for vinegar-based ones that are lower in fat and calories.
Tip 3: Stay away from the appetizers
It is a fact that many of the appetizers available in restaurants pack in more calories and fat than any meal on the menu. Often they come with sauces for dipping that are both fatty and filled with calories. Lots of them are fried in harmful oils. By avoiding these calorie black holes, you will be ensuring that you will not be consuming detrimental saturated fats and trans fats. Plus, you will be eliminating lots of calories from your overall meal. An appetizer is not a good way to start off a healthy meal – unless it is a vegetable crudite with a low calorie or vinegar based dressing.
Tip 4: Order wisely
When perusing the menu, immediately eliminate fried foods as an option. Opt instead for entrees that are either broiled, grilled or steamed. Eliminate any sides of mashed potato or rice. Instead, ask your server to double the vegetable portion of your meal. By eliminating the simple carbohydrates in your meal, you will be helping yourself to ensure healthier weight loss.
Tip 5: Avoid cream-based sauces
Don’t order foods that are drowning in creamy sauces. Opt instead for tomato based sauces. Always order any sauces on the side so that you can control how much you put on your meal. Too often meals are served drenched in fatty, creamy sauces that do nothing but expand your waistline.
Tip 6: Know when you are full
Serving sizes are often very large in restaurants. If you are served a portion that you know is too much, split it in half and ask your server to wrap the leftover. You can take it home with you and get a second meal out of it. If you do this prior to eating, you won’t be tempted to consume too much food.
Tip 7: Just say no!
It is alright to have dessert, if you choose the right one. Many establishments have dessert offerings geared to dieters. They may include a reduced fat or low carb option. If there aren’t any of these options available, many restaurants will offer a fruit salad or seasonal fruit option. If there is still no option, just say no to dessert and opt instead for a cup of coffee served with skim milk. The coffee will help to quell your taste for sweets.
By following these important tips, you can enjoy a meal out and not jeopardize your weight loss goals. By knowing how to navigate the choices in a tto restaurant, any menu can become a diet menu. Whenever you are making food choices, it is always healthiest to practice conscious eating.