Americans now eat two out of three meals outside the home. That can mean trouble if you’re on a weight loss program. How can you enjoy your restaurant experience and still lose weight?
Follow some basics rules no matter what type of cuisine you’re about to enjoy.
Rule 1 – Send the bread and butter back to the kitchen. You can consume 200 to 300 calories munching on bread before you even get to the entrée.
Rule 2 – Have a low fat, low calorie appetizer. It will stave off hunger pains and give you more will power or maybe that should be ‘won’t power’, when it comes to dessert. Pick a seafood cocktail, clear soup, or vegetable dish.
Rule 3 – Order a salad and have the dressing on the side. Dip the tines of your fork in the salad dressing and then spear the salad. You’ll taste the dressing but eat less of it. Olive oil and vinegar is your best bet for dressing.
Rule 4 – Choose fish or chicken instead of red meat or pork.
Rule 5 – Select grilled, broiled, or roasted instead of fried.
Rule 6 – Ask for an extra vegetable instead of potato or other starch.
Rule 7 – Sauces on the side always.
Rule 8 – Select a dish that follows your diet guidelines but that you wouldn’t normally prepare at home.
Rule 9 – There are other ways to save on calories when you’re dining out. Have an appetizer, soup or salad, and split the entrée and dessert. If no one will split it with you, split it with yourself. Ask the waiter to immediately pack up half for you to take home.
Rule 10 – If you like wine with your meal order it by the glass. It’s cheaper by the bottle but it’s easier to keep pouring rather than ask the waiter for a new glass of wine. Treat yourself to a more expensive wine than you’d normally order by the bottle. Many restaurants these days have a nice list of wines they offer by the glass.
Rule 11 – Drink at least one full glass of water with your meal. It will slow down how fast you’re eating, because you’ll stop to drink.
Rule 12 – Have fruit for dessert if you must have dessert. Fruit may not be on the menu but the kitchen will probably oblige. A dish of fresh raspberries can be just as satisfying as a slice of cake.
Rule 13 – Don’t put your diet strategy on hold when you dine out and you’ll continue to lose weight