Eating out has become one of the most popular past times in the United States! On average, Americans eat out five to six times a week. Dining outside the home used to be an occasional ‘special treat’ and now has become a serious contributor to the global obesity and healthcare crisis.
At restaurant’s you will be faced with many unhealthy choices. Restaurant food correlates with higher body weight and body fat. This is the time you remind yourself how much better you will feel after you have resisted the ‘nightly special’ being offered that is covered in a mouth-watering sauce. This special sauce is most likely loaded with unnecessary fats and sugars. I often remind my clients, “There is a reason why food in restaurants taste as good as it does!”
But don’t worry -- I am not saying that you should never enjoy a night out with the kids, with friends or for a date night! Eating out on occasion can play an important role in a healthy lifestyle. Having fun and being social makes you happy and healthy! Just be sure to find a restaurant that offers healthy, clean choices: and consistently making these wholesome choices will have a huge impact on being your healthiest you!
Tips to resist:
- It’s a given, refuse the breadbasket. If it is NOT in front of you, you will NOT miss it.
- Always ask for sauce/dressing on the side. Better yet, when ordering a salad, hold the dressing that accompanies the salad and ask for olive oil & vinegar.
- Most all restaurants allow you to make substitutions. Replace the starch with veggies (steamed/not swimming in butter) and/or a salad. Or if a baked potato is the only option, ask for it plain with olive oil on the side.
- If ordering a burger, ask for no bun, but extra lettuce, tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, avocado (if available).
- No soda for the kids. Soda should never be the reward for a ‘special occasion’.
- Allow kids to order healthy choices from the menu (have them share if portions are big), not from the ‘kids menu”. Best to teach our kids to expand their palates and to eat what we eat!
- Instead of sugary dessert, a big bowl of berries will satisfy your sweet tooth.
I promise that after making these healthy choices you will feel better that evening, the next day and the next day! You will never miss those foods you resisted and will realize how easy it is to make healthy choices when wining and dining out! Small changes make a big difference!