LAKE OCONEE — When watching your weight, dining out can be a challenge! Americans currently spent 42% of their food budget on meals eaten away from home. Four out of ten of these meals are eaten at fast food establishments. These meals are typically higher in fat, saturated fat, sodium and calories and fall short on fiber, calcium and phytonutrients.
In order to eat out without pigging out follow these simple guidelines.
Know Before You Go — Know what your restaurant options are – around work and around your home. Do some investigating before you leave. Restaurants usually publish their entire menu on-line. This will help you decide which restaurant to eat at based on the healthy menu options they offer. It is a great idea to check out the menu from home and determine what you’re going to order before you leave your house.
Don’t think of dining out as a” special occasion”, even if it is. We tend to overeat and indulge on foods that we may not otherwise eat if we feel it’s a special occasion.
Budget your calories throughout the day: if you know that you are going out to eat for dinner, try slightly reducing your intake at breakfast and lunch. This will allow you a little more to play with while dining out. A word of caution, don’t skip meals altogether and stockpile all your calories for dinner. This will only cause you to over eat and you may end up consuming more calories in one meal than you would have in all three.
Have a small snack such as a fruit with reduced fat cheese or a small handful of nuts to help curb your appetite before you go.
If you know where you’ll be dining; look up the nutrition information online before you go. This will give you the ability to plan a meal that fits in your meal plan without blowing it.