diet

The Secrets to Eating out and Losing Weight

The common misconception is that eating out a lot leads to weight gain. After all, it is harder to control what you eat and how much you eat when you are constantly dining out. There are, of course, ways to still stick to your diet when you want to eat out, especially when you’re in the business of meeting clients day in and day out. You should never deprive yourself of eating out in restaurants when you are trying to lose weight. Deprivation will lead to weight gain; that’s no secret.

Plan in Advance

Do your due diligence before going to a restaurant. It is easy to have access to a menu these days since they are available online. You can also call the restaurant to see if they can email you a copy of it. Make sure that the menu has heart-healthy and reduced-calorie food items. Focus on grilled meats rather than on fried options. If the restaurant doesn’t offer healthy food options, you should rethink your decision to dine there. Don’t tempt yourself and simply find another place that has good meal options.

Research the Dishes

Choose baked, broiled, boiled, grilled, poached, roasted, or pan-grilled food items. They are a world’s away from fried food. Don’t eat anything that has cream and butter in it because they will increase your calorie intake. Plus, they aren’t that good for your health since butter is just fat. Not everything is obvious, of course, so make sure to research what’s usually included in a dish before you plan to order it.

Take Matters into Your Own Hands

You cannot always expect restaurants to have your best interest at heart. They might even be targeting a different market, so they’re not exactly concerned about the amount of fat and carbohydrates in every dish they create. If you are trying to lose weight, why not take matters into your own hands? Bring supplements with you, though, of course, order what you can from the menu. You can bring a small container of your protein powder to help lose weight and ask the wait staff if they can mix it for you or include it in your drink.

Watch out for the Breadbasket and Appetizers

bread

It’s easy to get lost in the conversation once you arrive. You’ll chat with your dinner mate while munching on the delectable breadbasket that most restaurants give for free. The appetizers are also tempting because they don’t sound unhealthy. After all, those are just vegetable sticks. But where are you dipping them? In ranch dip? That ranch dip alone packs calories that will make your trainer’s eyes pop out from their sockets.

Beware of Liquid Calories and Salad Dressing

There are calories in your juice, beer, and wine. Even the amount of serving can affect your calorie intake for the day. Restaurants often serve more than the recommended five ounces of wine, so make sure you’re drinking just enough. Also, stay away from salads soaked in dressing or oils. Most salads also have cheese, croutons, and sweet dried fruits. Don’t be afraid to customize your salads according to your liking. You can ask the kitchen to prepare it without the usual cheese. Or, you can also set the cheese and croutons aside.

Consider the Timing

Most restaurants are packed at 7:30 p.m. when people dine out after work. Try to avoid this time. Instead, eat dinner at 6:30 p.m. or even earlier if that’s okay with your schedule. You will have a better time when you go to the restaurant when it’s almost virtually empty. Aside from that, the wait staff will likely get your orders correct.

Finally, eating an early dinner will also give your body enough time to burn the calories that you consume. If you eat out, you can walk to your house or apartment (if it’s a walking distance). Or, you can even squeeze in a few minutes of workout if you think you ate too many carbohydrates. The more time you have between dinner and sleeping, the more calories you can burn before resting your body.

There’s no reason for you to avoid eating out if you know what to expect and how to react to sudden changes in the plan. Although home-cooked meals are still the best, you should treat yourself to a nice restaurant once in a while. Depriving yourself of the pleasures of dining out will not help in your ultimate goal to lose weight. Instead, it will just make you feel constrained to the point that you might even want to forget about your plan already.

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