Dining out can be challenging when you are trying to eat a healthy meal. Thankfully, it’s also easy to navigate. Here are a few tips to help you stick to your weight-loss goals without giving up your social life. Try it the next time you go out to eat.
If you’re not familiar with the menu, read it beforehand. You’ll be more social at the table, and making a quick decision about your meal makes you look confident. The chances of you ordering the fettuccine alfredo increase when you’re hungry, distracted, or feeling like everyone is looking at you. Plan ahead. This only takes a few minutes and helps avoid snap decisions you’ll regret on the way home.
The way food is prepared greatly influences calorie content. If the menu is not clear, ask your server how the dish is prepared and request a different method of cooking such as grilling, steaming, or with light oil if necessary. Most servers are used to these sorts of questions.
It’s a buffet! Which means it’s socially acceptable to eat three plates of food, right? Wrong! Most of us have difficulty estimating portion size to begin with, but the allure of eating as much as you want without having to pay more drives many people to “get their money’s worth.” If you do end up at a buffet, eat a large salad first, and then use a smaller plate for the rest of your meal. If you must, have one dessert instead of six.
Restaurant salads are usually loaded with dressing. Order it on the side so you can have a better idea of how much you’re eating, or better yet, request olive oil and balsamic vinegar so you can control the ratio and amount of each ingredient yourself.
Many chefs are happy to adjust a recipe to meet your needs. Most meat, chicken, fish, and veggies can be grilled or steamed, which are healthier and lower-calorie methods of cooking. Don’t be afraid to ask.
One meal never ruined anyone’s ability to lose weight. Even if one slips through the cracks, it’s not the end of the world. The more weight you lose and the more muscle you build, the easier it will be to deal with an occasional slip-up.