Strategies for Eating Out

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Those who eat out frequently may find it considerably more difficult to lose weight than those eating more home cooked food. Restaurants tend to serve large portions of protein and carbs but little in the way of vegetables. Stay on track with your goals by following these guidelines the next time you eat out.

Start with a glass of water.  

Drinking a glass of water 15-20 min prior to eating a meal helps decrease hunger and improves digestion. 

Limit alcohol consumption.

Consuming alcohol typically leads to overconsumption of calories and poor food choices. Order an individual glass of wine, a single cocktail, or a mineral water "mocktail."

Order a side of veggies.

Request a side of steamed, sautéed, roasted, or grilled vegetables or a salad. These high fiber, nutrient dense, low calorie foods do their part to fill you up and displace poor quality, high calorie foods.

Skip the appetizer or order two appetizers as your meal.

Appetizers almost always contribute to overeating. That said, they are often the most flavorful items on a menu and can still be enjoyed if you opt for two appetizers and skip the entrée or share an appetizer and entrée with another person.

Avoid fried and battered foods.

Fried foods are typically very high in calories, lacking nutrients, and can cause digestive upset. Order foods prepared in other ways such as roasted, sautéed, steamed, or grilled.

Customize your order.

For example, request that your dish be prepared without cheese, avoid cream based dressings/sauces/soups, ask for a half serving of rice or noodles, and substitute veggies for french fries.

Slow down and chew well.

You will enjoy your food more and eat less when you slow down. Chewing your food into smaller pieces can even eliminate acid reflux. Thoroughly chew and savor every bite.