11 Tips on Eating Out For Weight Loss
It seems that their is a belief going around that if you are on a diet or if you are on a nutrition program designed for health then you lose the enjoyment of eating out and lets face it, that is something that is important to everyone.
Our posts on this site are designed to help you change your lifestyle habits for the better, to achieve a happier, healthier looking you for the long term.
So today I’m going to demonstrate that in the 21st century, where everyone loves to ‘eat out’, that you can still do it and enjoy it without jeopardising your health or your results.
Over past 50 years we as a nation are getting bigger: becoming more unhealthy and lazier. This comes down to a lot of contributory lifestyle factors but one of the most important, is how much we love to eat out.
Is Dining Out Still a Treat?
It seems a lot has changed since I was a lad of 15ish, where most of my meals were home cooked and eating out was a rare occasion and only happened as a treat or a special occasion such as a birthday. Fast forward to today and is seems that the opposite is now true. instead of maybe eating out 4-5 times a year it is now 4-5 times a week!
In times where people claim to have no money and the economy is shit, all I see is people eating out rather than taking the time to prepare and eat home cooked food.
This gives way to the next question… how do people expect to have a healthy and lean body eating this way all the time?
Maybe they just don’t care, or maybe they are just unaware.
and when did a treat become almost a nightly occurrence? surely a treat was always about a special occasion that was to be celebrated?
It looks to me that people are now labeling treats as a way to eat what they want and justify their actions.
The problem with that however, is no matter how you justify it, it is an excuse to blame someone other than yourself for your health. Your health is your responsibility, there is not reason or excuse not to look after it.
With everyone eating out more and more these days, we are not in control of our food. So if you are on a health journey, wanting to lose body fat then I promise you now that those hidden extra calories that you’re likely consuming are not going to help you here!
You don’t really know how it was cooked, what percentage of lean to fat meat they are using, the quality of the produce used (and believe me if your meal is cheap then there has been short cuts made) or what’s in the energy dense sauces that the chefs love to use on everything.
That is not to say you should never do it. Dining out can be a really enjoyable experience and time with the people you care about. I go out for meals myself. The thing is, sometimes just because it sounds healthy or worse because it claims to be healthy, we just blindly accept that as true. This is why education on food and health is paramount. then you can make your own mind up whether it is healthy or not.
I have dined out before and bought what what sounded healthy to me and came out the complete opposite. So it isn’t just about the ingredients you read, but what they actually use and how it is cooked.
Even I can get it wrong?!
1. Drink plenty of water
This is good practice in any event but in this case, water keeps you hydrates so you don’t get hunger pangs that you may assume as hunger for food (not water) . Water will also help fill you up too, so you will be less likely to over-eat.
2. Do you go for a starter or dessert?
Since you should already know that you are likely to be consuming more calories than usual (how often do you have starters with every day homec ooked meals?) So by deciding on one or the other gets rid of 300-500 calories straight away. Simply use the following rule… Pick one or the other. Not both.
3. Choose quality meats or fish
Forget the burgers, pies and sausages and any other processed food from the menu. Look at ordering lean beef or fish or Skinless chicken and turkey. These are much better options when you are eating out.
4. Choose your sauces wisely
Always go for the tomato based sauce over the cream or cheese based one. As you will have guessed, cream based sauces are higher in calories, with fats having 9 calories per gram. Picking a tomato and herb sauce will carry very little calories along with it.
5. Be wary of dressings
Always control what goes on your food. That way you control the taste. Chefs seem to have their own agenda on what dressings should be used and how much. I would rather taste my food first and then add a dressing to suit my own taste. Plus, some dressings can be high in fat or sugar, so choose wisely.
6. Look for menu items that are steamed, boiled or grilled
Avoid fried and deep fried foods. Also look at veggies over energy dense foods such as potatoes, rice or pasta.
7. When at a buffet….
It is easy to get carried away at a buffet, especially “all you can eat” buffets. It seems it becomes a license to stuff our face and face the consequences later. So fill one plate up with some of the better cooked and leaner items plus any veggies you can find that are not deep fried, eat slowly and to limit yourself to one visit.
The flip side to that is if you are aiming to improve your health and lose weight then just do not go. temptation with trump will power EVERY TIME! An all you can eat buffet is probably the last place you want to be.
8. Do you NEED a dessert?
Looking at picking desserts with yoghurt and or fruit salads. We know cakes and biscuits are the last thing you want to eat when your aim is weight loss and health.
9. Is alcohol necessary?
remember, Alcohol is laden with calories and it is easy to forget that consuming it adds to your weight gain. If you really want to have alcohol with your meal then drink by the glass not the bottle and have water on the table to mix it up.
10. Planning Ahead
Many restaurants have their menus online now, so plan ahead to see what you can have that suits your needs. If you are looking at health and weight loss, it is better to know whether the Italian restaurant sells something other than pizza or pasta.
11. Make room for your dining experience
The best way to make sure you enjoy yourself when dining out is to make sure you don’t eat a lot through out the day before you go out. Eating light through out the day will allow you to overindulge a little bit without feeling guilty about it. Don’t starve yourself but just plan ahead and leave room for a nice dinner.
If you really want to make sure you hit your body composition goals, then you have to focus on 90% of your food consumption being clean one ingredient wholefoods with the emphasis being on your health. That doesn’t man never going out, just observe the rules above and encompass as many of them as you can so that you can go out and enjoy yourself and still be on track with your goals. Dining out with family and friends is important to unwind and relax, just don’t turn it into a high calorie booze fest.
The best way to enjoy a meal out is to savour the experience. hold conversation, chew slowly and eat slowly and enjoy the food.
If you have any comment drop them below and I’ll do my best to get back to you.
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