1. Don’t go to a restaurant when you are starving. Many people “ save their calories” and starve during the day so they can “indulge” when they eat out. Doing this sets you up for making poor food choices, and eating more than you should. Instead, eat your regular meals and snacks, and if your dinner is going to be later than usual, eat a snack prior to going out.
2. Have a plan of what you are going to eat. Most restaurants have their menu on line, so you can check it out beforehand. If you are really keen, you can look up the nutritional information and make an informed decision on the best choices.
3. Skip the breadbasket. Eating a couple of pieces of bread and butter prior to your meal can add an extra three hundred calories or more to your meal.
4. Choose a broth based soup or salad as an appetizer. Avoid cream soups and request the salad dressing on the side. Ask if there are light salad dressings available.
5. Be careful of portion sizes! Some restaurants offer a smaller entrée size as an option. Consider ordering an appetizer or two as your main course. Make one of them a vegetable choice. Share an entree and have a starter salad- you will save money and calories!
6. Plan to drink at least one glass of water with your meal. This will help you limit your consumption of higher calorie options such as wine or beer.
7. Finish off your meal with a cup of tea. Ginger or green teas are great choices. If you really want dessert, consider ordering one for the table- just make sure you aren’t the one who ends up finishing it off.
Being prepared will keep you on track when you eat out!
By Sharon Fast Registered Dietitian for Ascend Fitness Coaching