You can have success losing weight and still enjoy going out to eat. According to the data obtained from various studies, eating outside the home a few times per week can lead to weight gain. However, the good news is that you have many options that can help you enjoy having a night out and enjoying the luxury of dining out at your favorite restaurant.
Below are some tips and strategies you can use to enjoy eating out successfully while on your weight loss journey.
Know What’s on the Menu Before You Reach the Restaurant
You can have a happy dining out experience when you have prepared in advance. Look at the menus online before you go to the restaurant, plan in advance what option you have to order that will fit within your diet plan. If you see there is a dessert you might be tempted to try, plan in advance and cut down on other parts of your meal to lower the calories.
Plan to go not too hungry. Try having some almonds or small healthy snack prior to going to avoid over indulging or being too hungry.
Avoid the Bread Basket and the Add Ons
One way to avoid having unwanted pre-dinner foods, request the server to bring the bread, chips and butter along with your entrees. This will remove the temptation to eat too many chips or have too much bread and butter prior to the meal. Having the meal after the bread or chips leads to the consumption too many calories. Having the bread or chips with dinner will allow you to focus more on the dinner and have just a little bread. Or you can request to have no bread or chips and avoid the temptation all together.
If you want to have an appetizer, opt for something healthy like fresh vegetable salads, healthy soups or seared tuna. Avoid anything fried and creamy.
Don’t Forget About Liquid Calories
Choose water as your beverage but if you choose a soda or tea, be aware of the calories that will be added to your overall meal.
Beware of Sneaky Calories on Salads and Veggies
If not prepared properly, vegetables and salads can also be a source of extra calories that are not needed. Sometimes salads are dressed in oils, garnished with cheese, dry fruits, or croutons. You can always get your own customized salad that is healthier.
Order dressing on the side to avoid extra calories. If you are thinking of ordering vegetables then ask beforehand how they are prepared and ask to use as little oil and butter as possible.
Go for Light Entrées
When ordering the main course, opt for something fresh and avoid fried choices. Although stir-fry dishes can be a better option at home, at a restaurant you cannot control how much oil is used. A nice tip is to choose three best dishes you like out of the menu and then ask the staff to give you the healthiest option out of them based on preparation and calories.
Don’t finish your plate. Restaurant portions can tend to be larger in size and boxing up half will help cut down on calories.
Don’t Let your Sweet Tooth Make Decisions
If you want to have something sweet, go for the lighter options. Possibly the portion size is ideal to split with someone or you can save half and take home.
Go for Quality Over Quantity
Having a quality experience rather than a large indulging experience will have you feeling successful and satisfied when leaving the restaurant and not guilty after your hard work for that week. Enjoying a meal outside can be positive when on a healthy weight journey when you follow these helpful tips.