Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Eat out and still lose weight

Here's my newest post on feed me kc

It's possible! You can totally eat out and still lose or maintain weight. I have a few weeks full of fun celebrations, meetings, happy hours, and other restaurant-eating activities and am well aware that restaurants are notorious for transforming seemingly healthy options into extremely high-calorie bombs.
For example, a grilled chicken Caesar salad can have around 1,190 calories and 75.4 grams of fat. Shocking, right? “Grilled Chicken” and “Salad” are usually the healthy options.
So here are some simple tips to help you (and me) navigate the restaurant menu and avoid a dietary disaster:
  1. Plan ahead. Many restaurants — especially chains — have nutrition info on their website. Visit their www before venturing out to make sure you order something that fits into a healthy diet! Better yet, look up your favorite and most frequented restaurants and have healthy options in mind when making an unexpected stop to eat out.
  2. Avoid these words. Avoid dishes with the following words: cream sauce, butter, oil, fried, au gratin, breaded, battered, Alfredo, and smothered. These dishes are most likely extremely high in fat and calories.
  3. Eat your veggies. Watching your carbs? No problem. Order lean meat with veggies on the side and ask for an extra serving of vegetables to replace the carby (e.g. bread, potatoes, rice, pasta, etc.) side.
  4. Watch the toppings. When ordering a salad, find out what’s actually in the salad. Veggies and lettuce are great, but candied nuts, cheese, creamy dressing, and dried fruit add up to a very unhealthy salad.
  5. Ditch the buffets. Buffets are just a recipe for disaster; avoid altogether for calorie/fat safety. But if you HAVE to be at one, get just one plate of food with at least 1/2 of the plate piled with veggies.
  6. Eat your meat. Just make sure your meat is prepared in the following ways: steamed, poached, roasted, broiled, grilled, baked, or boiled. Fried or breaded meat is never ever healthy. Poultry and fish are great choices but if you are a red meat lover, no worries, just choose a lean cut of meat, such as eye of round roast, top round steak, bottom round roast, mock tender steak or top sirloin.
  7. Send the bread back. Who really needs the extra bread at the table? Most likely, you’ll just fill up on it and then try to stuff down your meal. Ask the wait staff to not bring the bread or send it back if it’s already on the table.
  8. Ask for the to-go box first. Box up at least half of your meal right when it comes out, and then eat your plate clean without guilt.
  9. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. If a dish comes with fried chicken, ask for it to be grilled. If something is smothered in cheese, ask for the cooks to “hold the cheese, please.” If something comes with fries, ask for steamed veggies instead. Most restaurants are very willing to help people eat healthier.
  10. Go straight to the healthy section of the menu. Many restaurants have recognized the need for a “light” menu to make it easier to choose wisely. So if you have that option, just flip right to it and don’t even tempt yourself with the less healthy options.

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