I remember when I was a kid and if my mom and dad said we were going to go out to dinner it must have been something really special we were celebrating. Going out to eat was a treat for us. Today, if we don’t go out to dinner my kids are asking me why are we not going out to eat dinner. Times have changed and listen I could probably go off and make a strong case that because we eat out so much that a large part of our obesity problem is because of that. Now, I am a strong believer in limiting the amount of times you go out and eat but when those times do come. And you should go out and enjoy a nice dinner with your significant other and family from time to time but when you do make sure you don’t go overboard on eating bad. With that being said I want to give you some basic tips to follow when you are eating out.
1.) Drink Water – Alcohol, sodas, lemonades, and sugary drinks can rack up the calories fast. I am not saying avoid them completely but limit yourself to one. Drinking water will also help with your hydration.
2.) Don’t fill up on bread and chips – Being from Texas this is extremely hard but by over eating chips and bread you fill up on way too many carbs and ruin your appetite for the meal, which should have protein in it. Set a set number of chips or pieces of bread and don’t eat more than that!
3.) Lighter options – Restaurants are now offering options that provide less calories and less trans fat in their meals. Choose those menu items and if they are not listed ask to see if they can cook it healthier.
4.) Portion Size – In my opinion this alone can make the difference. My wife and I have been splitting meals for years now and not only does it save us money it saves us a ton of calories. Most restaurant meals today have portion sizes twice to three times of what we are required to eat. If you don’t have anyone to split with or they don’t offer a half size request a to go box once you get your meal and put half of it in it.
5.) Skip Dessert – I know easier said then done but typically restaurant desserts have a lot of calories and unless you made room somewhere in the day or earlier in the meal your best bet is to skip the dessert and get some fat free yogurt somewhere else!
Remember eating out does not have to be stressful or painful. Make some different choices and limit the amount of food and calories you consume.
Listen, life is too short not to enjoy it so don’t think I am saying not to eat out. All I am saying is when you do go out to eat try to focus on all five of the tips I provided in this post. Shoot, if you were to just implement one of the five tips to eating out you would do yourself a tremendous benefit. So, next time the kids or your significant other asks to go out to eat don’t fret that all the hard work you have been doing to reach those fitness goals will be completely wasted because you now have several tips to making eating out a whole lot healthier.