No matter what your current diet or weight loss plan may be, if you are trying to cut calories for weight loss, one of the biggest challenges that you will undoubtedly face is eating out. Eating at restaurants or fast food establishments can be a convenient way to save time and money, but it can be detrimental to your waistline. Many dieters panic when they head to a restaurant for dinner. Here at Calories-Nutrition.com, we know the challenges that come with dining out and losing weight, which is why we have created some simple rules for losing weight while eating out.
Check the Menu First
Before you visit a restaurant, visit the establishment’s website. Most restaurants will post their menu online. Browse their selection to find healthy options. Most restaurants will have the nutritional information listed on their website, or you can check calories-nutrition.com for most information on calorie information for select restaurants. Preparing yourself to order beforehand can prevent you from pressure-ordering a dish that isn’t very healthy.
Try to Order First
It can be difficult to order healthy if you are the last person to order at the table. If everyone else at the table orders tempting items or unhealthy dishes, it gives you time, motivation and the temptation to change your mind and splurge.
Be Careful With the Sides
Many times, dieters focus so much on the main dish they are ordering that they accidentally add hundreds of calories with their sides. You can order salmon, but if it comes with creamy mashed potatoes smothered with bacon and butter, then you are still making an unhealthy choice. Ask about side substitutions such as steamed vegetables, fruit or a side salad with dressing. Replacing fries with items lie this can save you a ton in calories.
Don’t Be Fooled By Salads
Many times, when eating while trying to lose weight, dieters can be tempted by salads. While leafy salads may seem like a healthy option, this is not only the case. Many restaurants have salads with creamy fat-filled dressings, fried chicken and serve huge salads that are actually four or five regular portions. If you order a salad, pay attention to the toppings and choose a vinaigrette dressing instead of a creamy option. Order the salad dressing on the side to avoid adding extra unnecessary calories to the dish.
Pay Attention to the Description
Many times, those looking to eat healthy are distracted by words like “fresh” or “local” when browsing the menu, and believe this is the same thing as organic or healthy. Don’t be distracted by these terms and focus on what actually appears on the menu. Ignore these distracting adjectives and look at what is actually in the dish.
Skip the Appetizers
This is one of the most difficult things to do when eating in a group, but skipping the appetizers can save on countless unwanted calories. Look at most appetizer menus; they feature lots of fried foods, cheesy dips and heavy items. Suggest skipping appetizers if you are in a small group, or attempt to avoid them all together when the group orders them. Appetizers can add a great deal to any meal, and many times when you eat appetizers, you still end up eating the same amount of your meal.
Eating out while on a diet can seem like a challenge, but when you are armed with our simple rules, your waistline will thank you as you make smarter choices and stick to your healthy eating regimen.