By Paul Scicluna, 11 February 2015
When you’re on a path to shed the pounds to get the body you want, it doesn’t mean that you can’t go out to eat and enjoy yourself. The trap with eating out is that some restaurants, cafes and eateries serve not so healthy foods, laden with fat which can add plenty of calories to your meals in just one sitting. Don’t sabotage your weight loss efforts! The last thing you want is to put the weight back on. To avoid that happening, here are 6 tips on how to eat healthy when you’re out, so you can keep those calories down while still enjoying yourself.
1. Say NO to big servings.
What usually happens when you go out is that regardless of a person’s size, everyone is expected to eat 3 meals – entree, main and dessert. Unfortunately this method of eating will generally result in you stacking on the calories and making you round. Instead, order healthy appetizers or entrees which are usually smaller portion sizes. What’s great with this is that you can order a few different dishes and share the meals with your partner or friend. At least you get to try some different dishes and have variety.
2. Limit the bread.
Many restaurants offer bread to start before your meal. Sometimes they keep filling up your bread plate until you say no. Now if you’re going to be tempted to do this then don’t have any bread at all, because the calorie count will be piling up – just like the weight you’ll put on as a result. Otherwise, if you MUST indulge, just have one small piece of wholemeal or rye bread.
A lot of places serve margarine and not butter which contains the bad fats. Margarine is definitely not one of those healthy foods to eat as it’s full of chemicals and processed elements. I personally recommend that you opt for a bit of extra virgin olive oil to have with your piece of bread. And then if you want, dip it in good quality salt.
3. Don’t order drinks like alcohol and sodas.
How many calories does alcohol and soda contain? One glass of red wine has a whopping 85 calories or thereabouts, and a glass of soda has about 60 calories. Imagine if you had a few glasses throughout your meal! And that is only your drinks, no food included. Really, it’s not worth it. You can always ask the waiter for water or even soda water, and to put a slice or two of fresh lemon and lime slices to jazz it up. Squeeze the juice from the slices and you get a naturally healthy flavored drink, which will help to keep those calories down.
4. Trim visible fat and skin from meats.
For those of you who enjoy your meat and the skin, you need to be reminded that it’s full of fat! So it’s definitely not one of those low calorie foods. So the question is, do you want to shed those pounds, or do you want to get fatter?
If you choose a meat without skin then that’s a great start! Then, if you see any visible fat on the meat, remove it and do not eat it. You have to decide what you want more, a few seconds of pleasure eating skin, or a lifetime of carrying around an extra 40 pounds, for example?
Do your body a favor, eat healthy by not having the skin and trimming fat off meat. Trim that off and you’ll trim your weight off too! Why not experiment and indulge in a vegetarian meal? You can get plenty of vegetarian meals packed full of flavor and nutrition. Just stay away from rices, pastas and creamy sauces as the calorie count can be huge!
5. Finishing off your meal with a low calorie alternative.
I can hear many of you now thinking that you want a massive piece of cake or ice-cream for dessert. My advice, skip dessert. Desserts are generally you’re high calorie foods. Did you know that as a rough guide, depending on the type there can be up to 70 calories in a few small bite-sized chocolate pieces? To get that off you’d need to be running on the treadmill for around 20 - 30 minutes depending on the speed, just to burn off the calories from that little bit of chocolate. That’s not including the rest of your day’s food and drink intake.
So be sure to avoid desserts, as there can be hundreds if not thousands of hidden calories in them. If you want alternative low calorie desserts, have a fresh fruit platter or fruit salad. Fresh mint leaves, a few nuts or even lemon or lime juice can add a flavor explosion to fruit salads.
BONUS TIP: Slow down when eating!
This is such a simple trick to keep the calorie count down. Take your time when eating, enjoy the flavors. A big part of getting in touch with your hunger signals and learning to eat what really will satisfy is learning to recognize the subtle signs of hunger.
You won't know when you're approaching satisfaction if you've gobbled everything down in five minutes. More often than not, you’ll eat more. Then before you know won’t know how many calories you’ve had which will set you back in losing weight.
So make an effort to chew your food slowly. A very large part of digestion begins in your mouth, not to mention you'll get much more pleasure if you let the food linger. Incorporate this as one of your healthy eating habits when going out, and even at home.
If you want to get more hints on reducing the calories to keep that weight off forever, so you can achieve the body you want faster, watch my webinar at stopdietingtoday.com
Here’s to your weight loss success,