Lifestyle. Exercise. Attitude. Nutrition
Eating out and eating healthy foods don't always go together. It doesn't have to keep you home though. Here are a few tips, adapted from Dr. Sears Wellness Institute, to help you on your next trip out.
Don't be afraid to use tools to help you. Try plugging food into things like Myfitnesspal or other food trackers to see the nutrition data.
Check out the nutrition data available on the menu and in some restaurants
Remember, lower calories doesn't always mean healthier
Don't Super Size! Most of the time we will be satisfied with much less food, especially if we slow down and eat mindfully. You'll discover that smaller portion will cause you to feel pleasantly comfortable. Tip - Stop when you feel 80% full, after about 20 minutes you'll feel more full.
Choose things higher in fiber. Add lettuce, pickles, tomatoes, etc. to sandwiches and fill your plate with more whole food, plant based foods. The fiber will help you feel more full and the fruits and veggies will also add more nutrition to your meal.
Fried Foods, when possible try other forms of cooking. Frying can ad twice the calories, but in pure fat.
Skip the fries. Try choosing other healthier options like apple slices, fruit cups, or a side salad (watch the dressing).
Cut the fat. Try ordering your salad dressing on the side or adding a little milk to cream based dressing to thin them out a little and make last longer. Try oil and vinegar as another option.
Order the "Kids Meal". Remember we mentioned that you are often satisfied with less? Sometimes the kids meal is the perfect portion. Key: Eat slowly, take your time and savor the flavors - mindfulness.
Choose your drink wisely - Try skipping the soft drinks and going with less sweet options or options without artificial sweeteners. Water with a little lemon, half sweet tea and half unsweet or 100% fruit juice.
Pizza - Try ordering a smaller size and give veggie pizza a try. Add a salad and see if that helps cut down on the numbers of slices you eat.
Salad Bar Smarts - limit ready made salads, they are often high in fat and have artificial ingredients. Put your salad dressing on the side. Load up with veggies before adding the lettuce. Lettuce is good, but the other veggies have more to offer nutritionally.
Relax - If you don't eat out often then consider it a treat! Barring no dietary restrictions, having whatever you want from the menu once in a while will be ok. The one meal will not mess up your diet, cause you to gain a lot of weight, or cause disease. BUT, the more you choose healthy foods the less you'll crave the unhealthy foods. Your treats will start to look different.
Join in the conversation, what do you do to help you when you eat out? Share your tricks and tips.
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