People love to eat out and are in search of the best restaurants for them to book a family dinner or so. While eating out at a restaurant, there are some essential things you should now to navigate away from the danger zones and stay healthy, which we will discuss in this article.
Planning the dine out
If you are planning to go out for dinner tonight, you have got plenty of company. A survey shows that about 75% of the Americans eat out at a restaurant once in a week or more. It can be a perfect treat to you after a hectic day at work and also let someone who is busy cooking always a relaxing time.
Even though this is the case, the trouble factor in eating out is that some studies had shown that the dieters tend to the consumer about 253 calories extra and 16 grams of fat on days when they eat out at the restaurants. As you may have noted, portion sizes have enormously increased in recent years, and most of the people love to polish off their every bite. We can see that people tend to empty their plates rather than listening to the signals of their body, no matter what the size of the serving is.
However, if you are a bit mindful about it, you can happily order any menu and still drop pounds without the need to deprive yourself. Here are some easy to follow, practical guidelines.
You book a dinner and skip lunch; does it seem familiar? Don’t do that. Ditch the practice and instead try to have a light lunch with a salad with a whole-grain roll and chicken or so. Also, take a small snack in the late afternoon or a small container of yogurt, and a few almonds, etc. Try to keep your hunger under control, which will hold you off from diving into the bread basket as soon as it is shown on to your table.
Look for the label ‘light’
Majority of the premium restaurants now promote low-cal choices, which is good. However, remember that their claim may not always be true. Many dishes may be low-cal in raw, but covered with cheese or cooked in butter, they may not be so. So, you have to go through the menu carefully to understand it well. It is best to look for a fine balance of lean protein as in chicken breast, fish, strip steak, pork tenderloin, carbohydrates like whole wheat pasta, brown rice, and some monounsaturated fats like olive oil and canola. You may also go to the restaurant website well ahead of time to see if they list out the nutritional information of their dishes out there.
Learn and practice portion control
One good practice as per a well-known dietitian’s advice is to eat almost three-quarters of the dish in front of you and stop eating. It is noted that one can easily cut down up to 300 calories off the meal by following this single tip. Let it be one of the rarest dishes at an Uzbek restaurant or an Italian special treat, you may barely miss the extra few bites, but still, you can be satisfied from consuming 75% of your dinner.
Be salad smart
You can be smart at the salad bar by filling your plate with greens, veggies, edamame, and chickpeas to top it up with some low-fat dressing. However, try to limit cheese, bacon bits, creamy dressing, or croutons or try to cut them out entirely. Also try to stay away from tuna, pasta, or the chicken salads socked in mayo. If you can’t resist the craving at all, try to fill just a quarter-cup of serving.
Choose the best proteins
If you want to order a steak, remember a rib-eye of 10 ounces may count up to 780 calories or even more. Instead, if you tend to order leaner beef cuts like flank steak, tenderloin, or strip of a serving size below 5 ounces, it can be ideal. If the restaurant is not offering smaller portions, then try to cut your portion into half and pack the rest to home.
Don’t hesitate to ask
Most of the restaurants may honor special requests from customers. All you need to do is to try it out. You may custom order your food baked, grilled, poached, broiled, or steamed instead of getting those fried. You may also ask for dishes to be cooked in olive oil than using butter. You can also feel free to request extra veggies or less pasta in your dishes.
Try to have some healthy swaps
You can always try out whole grains like whole-grain bread, or brown rice over the default rice and refined white bread served. You may also think of passing up the French fries or stuffed potato for ordering steamed vegetables or salad. Another example is ordering dishes with tomato sauces rather than an option for the pasta dishes of creamy type.
Some smart, quick choices to make for weight watchers
Here are smart choices to make if you have to make a quick decision while eating out.
- Fast food – try to choose fish or chicken grilled. Request sauce separately and don’t take more than a tablespoon. Order a green salad instead of any fries. Don’t opt for deep-fried items.
- Coffee bar – Try to choose a smart 8-ounce cup of coffee with milk. Avoid a 20-ounce latte, which may add up to 340 calories.
- Japanese – Try to order some Sushi prepared with tuna, shrimp, vegetables, tofu, miso soup, sashimi, or type of teppanyaki dishes. Stay away from Tempura or teriyaki.
- Mexican – A good move is to order something like Fajitas with grilled meat, vegetables, chicken-filled enchiladas, burritos, shrimp. Try to order only lean meat with a little cheese. Don’t order cheese-smothered dishes, refried beans, fried chimichangas, etc.
- Chinese – Try chicken and vegetable dishes, stir-fried shrimp, and steamed rice, etc. Avoid dishes featuring sour or sweet sauces as Kung Pao chicken etc.
Also, always keep track of the calories you take in. If you focus on weight loss, then try to limit your calorie intake around 1500 for a day. If you are trying to maintain a good weight, try to consume about 2000 calories a day, which may be about 500 calories on each meal. You can make use of the calorie calculator to know your exact needs and restrictions and plan you’re dining outs accordingly.
Guest article written by: Trudy is a Business Tech Analyst. He is very responsible towards his job. He loves to share his knowledge and experience with his friends and colleagues.