Many of the social activities that adults enjoy are centered around food. Going out to a restaurant with a significant other or a group of friends is a common way for adults to spend time with one another. If you are trying to lose weight, eating out could be detrimental to achieving your diet and fitness goals.
If you think that you have to sacrifice eating out in order to become healthy, you couldn't be more wrong. Here are three simple tips that you can use to ensure you are able to make smart choices when ordering from a restaurant's menu in the future:
1. Stick with water.
One of the common mistakes that diners make when eating out at restaurants is drinking their calories. Specialty cocktails, sodas, and other types of beverages can be filled with sugar. This sugar causes the calorie count in the drinks to rise, adding significantly to your calorie consumption before you even receive your meal.
Stick with water when you are eating out, and add a lemon or lime wedge if you need some additional flavor. Water has no calories, will help you feel full faster to prevent overeating, and will serve as a valuable tool when helping you stick to your diet while eating out with friends and family members.
2. Check preparation methods.
While a dish on a restaurant's menu might appear to feature healthy ingredients, the way these ingredients are prepared can add significantly to the calorie content of your meal. You should always check the menu for dishes that are prepared without butter, oil, salt, or sugar.
Ask for your entree to be steamed, boiled, or baked rather than fried, and be sure that your waiter knows you want your salad dressing and other condiments served on the side. Paying attention to the preparation methods used in cooking each dish will help you find an entree without excess calories while eating out.
3. Ask for a to-go box before you meal arrives.
Portion control plays a critical role in maintaining a healthy weight. Since the portions served in a restaurant are often too large for a single meal, it can be helpful to ask your waiter or waitress for a to-go box before you meal even arrives.
Place half your food into the to-go box before you begin eating, and you will not be tempted to eat larger portions than you should.
Sticking to your diet goals doesn't mean you have to sacrifice eating out. Make your next restaurant trip a more productive one by ordering only water to drink, checking preparation methods for hidden calories, and getting a to-go box to prevent overeating.