With a smart-eating strategy and a strong will, the chances of sabotaging your own efforts when eating out are impossible. The trick is planning ahead and selecting the right kind of meals, and to always stick to your diet resolution.
Strategy: Have a plan and follow your rules. If you had a big lunch, order a light dinner. Also during the day you can cut back on the calories if you know ahead of time that you are visiting a restaurant. If you need to control your calories, fat and other nutrients intake or if you want to make ordering a bit easier it is good to know some cooking basics and to understand the restaurant and menu terms. Make a smart choice and order healthy meals that are steamed, baked, grilled or broiled.
You must limit the food described as crispy, gratin or rich because they are usually fried and avoid sauteed foods. You must think ahead, and consider restaurants with rich menus that also have nutrition information about their meals.
Ordering: You can have a healthy food choice if you consider a mixture of different food groups (like meat, dairy, fruits, vegetables, and grains) in a single meal. Freshly made salads can be described as a balance in a bowl, like entrée salads with chicken, or seafood that can provide protein along with fiber and vitamins, but if you are extremely careful with your calorie intake just choose a low fat dressing and skip the extras (like croutons).
When it comes to sandwich toppings, keep your choices smart and go for low fat options like lettuce, tomato and onion, dressings, also you can use condiments like ketchup, mustard or relish. Finish your meal with healthy side dishes, like baked potato, fruit or side salad with low fat dressing. For a high nutritional value you can choose toppings for your baked potato like vegetables, chili or salsa.
Substitute: Many restaurants honor requests, so you shouldn’t be afraid or shy when it comes to making special orders so you can have an ideal nutritional combination for your meal, example: instead of the fries that are included in the meal combination, you can ask for a side salad with low fat dressing. Also you must control you portion size, since many restaurants serve huge portions (sometimes enough for three people).
Remember to order items that are low in calories, eat a smaller portion and chew slowly. Slow eaters tend to eat less but they always fell satisfied. It takes a while for your brain to receive that your stomach is full, so it’s easy to overeat if you are a fast eater. What to do with the leftovers? Just bring them home.