How to Stick to Your Diet in a Restaurant (Slideshow)
December 16, 2013
It’s all about willpower
1) Plan Ahead
Check out the menu online before you visit. Just about every restaurant posts their menu online, and if they don’t they can probably fax it to you. Pick out a healthy entrée or a couple of healthy appetizers, and stick with your choice.
2) Drink Water
Sodas, alcoholic beverages, and juices are huge sources of empty calories, so stick with water. Even better, ask for room temperature water to wash down your meal. The metabolic process requires a good deal of energy/ heat in order to work properly, so constantly icing your stomach down with ice water during your meal isn’t a good idea.
3) Avoid the Bread Basket
Again, more empty calories, as well as carbohydrates and saturated fat from the butter. Just say no.
4) Watch Out for Salad Dressing
A salad might seem like an obvious choice, but salads aren’t all they’re cracked up to be for dieters. Dressings often contain loads of oil and sugar, so choose yours wisely. Extra-virgin olive oil with balsamic vinegar is fine, but go with a low-fat dressing if that’s not available.
5) Load Up on Lean Protein
The bulk of your meal should be made up of lean protein, like chicken breast or shrimp. Avoid eating chicken skin, however; it contains a lot more saturated fat than you might realize.
6) Get Steamed Vegetables and Whole Grains
A side of vegetables might sound healthy, until it arrives and you realize they’re drowning in butter. Ask for them simply steamed, and have it along with your lean protein. If you’re looking for a starch, avoid butter- and cream-laden mashed potatoes; go with a whole grain like quinoa.
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Take the time to chew your food well before swallowing. Not only will this aid in digestion, it will also slow down your overall pace of eating.
8) Eat Half of Your Plate
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A good rule to keep in mind is that almost every plate of food served at a restaurant is enough for two meals. So save half of your sandwich for lunch tomorrow. When you’re done with half of your food, get it wrapped to-go. Out of sight, out of mind, half the calories.
9) Slow Down
It’s easy to mindlessly scarf down a huge plate of food when you’re engaged in lively mealtime chatter. But sit back and take your time. You’ll enjoy your food more, and will give your brain more time to recognize when you’re full.
10) Avoid Appetizers and Desserts
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Your meal should be what’s placed in front of you, on one plate, and half of that should be enough to fill you up. Many appetizers and desserts contain more fat and calories than entrées, so let the others share them and stick with your plan.