Thursday, March 1, 2012

Tips for eating out

It has been one long week and you do not feel like cooking. Believe me I do not blame you!!!! By the end of the week I do not even want to step in the kitchen to cook ANYTHING. I love going out to eat. You do not have to worry about doing dishes, setting table, cleaning up, and most of all you do not have to cook. But eating out can be a real challenge if you are on a diet or just trying to eat healthy. There are many things that are just not healthy. Now you are probably thinking: Why should I worry about that when I am eating out? Why can't I treat myself this weekend? Ask for the nutrition menu at the restaurant you are eating at and you will get your answer! One entree at a restaurant can have as much calories and fat that you should be taking in the whole day. So you are going to eat a meal that is equivalent to what you should have eaten at 3 meals plus snacks!!!!! Do you really want to ruin all your hard work of dieting and exercise that you have endured during the week?
 Recently  I went to a restaurant where I usually get a burger on a whole wheat bun(I was thinking that was healthy) and have a salad from the salad bar. When I saw the nutrition content that burger contained:

  • 55g fat
  • 877 calories
  • 57 carbohydrates
  • 976g of sodium
This shocked me! I could not believe this nutritional content!!!!! Outrageous! And this was a plain burger not even with any cheese. 

So I decided to have the grilled salmon with spaghetti squash and grilled zucchini which was pretty tasty.
The nutritional content for this was:

  • 21g fat
  • 291 calories
  • 163g of sodium
Now look at the difference!!!! The sodium content is drastically low. WHICH IS A GOOD THING!!! High sodium diets lead to water retention which is not good when dieting. Also, you will not get that bloated feeling. 
"You are what you eat." This is so true!!!  So watch what you do to your body. If you really feel like having a burger maybe compromise by having half of it and taking the other half home. Opt for no fries and a grilled vegetable instead. This is if you really feel like splurging and if you have enough self control to eat just half the burger. I did not think I would so I just did not order it!!! Save the real splurging for special occasion not just a weekend out like your birthday or an anniversary. 
Because if you splurge every weekend it could lead to weight gain over the course of the month or the year!!!
So follow these steps when you are eating out:

  1. Ask for the nutritional menu guide.
  2. Choose something grilled and that has at least less than 25g of fat.
  3. If you opt for the "higher" calorie meal eat only half and take the other half home.
  4. Order a salad with fat free or light dressing on the side instead of a high calorie appetizer or eating bread.
  5. Do not order soda. Try ice water with lemon. 
  6. For dessert: find the low calorie dessert. Usually they have some kind of fruit with whip cream or parfait. All the restaurants will offer a healthier dessert on the menu. Do not get enticed by the cakes, ice cream, and brownie pictures on the dessert menu. (As I said before save it for a birthday or anniversary not every weekend)
  7. If you are at a pasta place go with whole wheat pasta instead of white. 
  8. Choose healthier sides like: grilled vegetables or brown rice pilaf. 
  9. Try to limit alcohol to one drink. You do not need the empty calories!
  10. Enjoy spending time with your family, friends, or whoever you are out with!!  

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