Eating out at a restaurant can be such a joyous affair. The menu choices are plentiful, the service a welcomed treat, and the idea of leaving the mess behind when you leave definitely has its power.
Restaurants however, can create a veritable minefield when it comes to weight control. We haven’t prepared the meal ourselves so we don’t know exactly what has gone in to it, portions are often askew from recommended sizes and the temptation of indulging in a delicious fried or saucy morsel can often prove too much.
So how should we approach eating out when we are trying to lose or maintain our weight?
Prepare Ahead of Time
So many restaurants have online menus now. If you know where your reservations are made, a quick google should see you investigating menu options before you’ve even left the house. This preparation means that you can take your time to plan ahead what you’ll order, right down to what you’ll be drinking. Temptation has less chance of winning you over if you’ve already mapped out what you will and won’t order, and you’ll have the time to source a healthy, nutritious and delicious meal that won’t leave you feeling like you are missing out.
Ask for Ingredients
A good waiter will know what goes into each dish, and even a bad one is able to ask the chef in the kitchen. Don’t be frightened to ask what goes into your favoured dish – you might be surprised to find that it is especially high in fats, salts or even sugars. With so many dietary requirements needing paramount consideration in the modern-day diet, no one at your table will bat an eyelid when you investigate your ingredients list.
Ask for Dressings and Sauces on the Side
Whether you are ordering a salad or a steak, you’ll usually be presented with a sauce-covered plate or something dripping in dressing. These seemingly harmless culprits are usually made up mostly of oils or butters, so it is easy to consume many more calories than you’ve actually realised. By asking for these delights on the side of you plate, you are still able to enjoy them, but moderately rather than indulgently. Dip your dinner into the sauce rather than douse it in it, and you could be halving the fat content of your meal in one fell swoop.
Choose A Good Protein
There is absolutely no way we’d ever request that you only order a side salad on your next venture to a restaurant. It just would not be fair, nor maintainable, and that is when slip-ups happen. If the menu allows it, our tip when eating out is to first decide on a protein that piques your interest – a juicy steak, a trimmed chicken breast or a moist and fleshy piece of salmon or tuna.
Protein fills you up quickly and keeps you feeling fuller for longer, so deciding on this portion of your meal first means you’ve instantly made a healthier choice right off the bat. Add a hearty salad with loads of fresh, colourful vegetables, a steaming ratatouille or grain-based side, and your plate (and stomach) will be full of all the good things your body loves.
Don’t Be Afraid to Stray
Nothing on the menu that takes your fancy? Everything too naughty or even too boring? There is a simple solution but it will involve your confidence. So many of us assume that the restaurant menu is a stoic list of options that can’t be altered. The reality is that this couldn’t be farther from the truth. A chef is going to prepare your meal. Someone who has studied and trained for years to come to this moment. They will not mind if you decide you’d like to create your own meal to cater for your dietary requirements.
Ask for a menu choice but tweak it – no pasta but extra broccoli, for example.
Ask for elements of different dishes – the entrée squid but with a big side of the quinoa salad might work for you.
Make something up – if the restaurant offers pizza, ask for your preferred toppings and half the cheese.
Or request extra plates and cutlery – There is no need to nix the dessert, simply order a portion with extra spoons to share with the table.
Don’t be shy in asking for your meal to be altered. You are paying for a service and you will feel better for being confident later.
Don’t Drink Your Calories
If you are planning on having a few beverages with your meal, you need to be careful not to drink your meals equivalent in calories. Avoid soft drinks, juices and beer if you can, and opt for a tall glass of soda and fresh lime, or a spirit/wine with soda. Table water is usually always offered, so take advantage of it and be sure to take a glass in between each alcoholic drink. Not only will you stay hydrated, you’ll also feel fresher tomorrow!
By preparing ahead, be aware of ingredients and altering your meal to meet your dietary requirements, eating out can be both enjoyable and fit in with your eating plan.
If the thought of eating out still makes you nervous, perhaps you should consider using Thinco’s Garcinia Supreme 3000. It works as a natural appetite suppressant and reduces emotional eating, a great compliment to any lifestyle.