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Going out to eat
has its blessings and its challenges. What are some of the challenges?
huge in restaurants.
high-salt, and high-sugar ingredients are frequently used. Since you don't
do the cooking, you may not know what's in it.
limited amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables are available. Even though
you find salads, many of them are high in calories and fat due to the
mayonnaise dressings (100 calories/tablespoon), shredded cheeses (at 110
calories and 8 grams of fat per 1/4 cup serving), crumbled bacon (33
calories/slice), olives (10 calories each), avocado (185 calories/ 1/2 cup),
nuts or sunflower seeds (52 calories/tablespoon). You also may find yourself
selecting a beautiful all-veggie salad and then adding a ladle of salad
dressing, which is 1/3 cup, or 5 tablespoons, at about 65
calories/tablespoon, or 325 calories!
occasion" mindset leads to ordering more appetizers, alcohol, and desserts.
So what are some
helpful skills to develop and strategies to practice?
are eating out at least 50% of the time.
frequency of how often you eat out. It makes a big difference whether you
dine out once a month, or 3 - 4 times every week. How often do you go out to
eat? If you do go out frequently, why? What contributes to that pattern? Do
you find dining out regularly is an obstacle to your achieving a healthier
weight? If so, what might you do to change that pattern? Perhaps review the
making quick and healthy meals at home section
for ideas about making delicious quick meals.
Select one that provides some healthful alternatives. Are you familiar with
places that offer diverse, healthier choices?
Read over the
menu and make wise menu selections.
Do you know which menu words and descriptions telegraph higher fat and
calories? Do you know how to find healthier options? If not, perhaps check
out the online resources or books below.
requests for what you
really want and how you want it prepared. How skilled are you at asking for
what you want?
portion control. Restaurant
portions have doubled from a few years ago. 70% of diners say that they will
eat all that's placed in front of them when they eat out. So, how can you
manage restaurant portions?
an Eye on Portion Size.
What is the difference between Portions and Servings? Serving Size Card:
Serving Size Card.pdf
getting a mental picture of sensible portion sizes rather than the
mammoth portions you are served. Check over
the Foundation Food Plan section for
reference portion amounts.
a doggie bag, share a portion with a friend, or just order soup and a
salad, or order from the child or senior menu.
helpful idea is to drink water as you order and while you wait for your
meal to arrive. Have you ever found yourself eating the chips and salsa,
or all of the delicious, hot bread and butter that was offered, only to
find yourself full before the food actually arrived? Remember: Jumbo
meals = Jumbo bodies!
Don't be in
a hurry to order dessert. Choose fresh fruit or decaffeinated cappuccino
or herbal tea for a sweet finish for your meal, or wait until you go
have a healthier snack at that time.
Other helpful tips:
healthy mindset. Watch out
for thoughts like, "Oh, I'll just eat whatever and eat until I'm stuffed. I
want to get my money's worth. I'm paying for it." Beware of being a member of the
"clean the plate club."
pre-planning can really help out.
Perhaps cut back from having some extra portions during
the day, or eat foods that are lower in fat and sugar, and eat extra
amounts of vegetables and fruits that day to help conserve some calories.
Many people find that having a small snack (veggie, fruit, or some water)
prevents them from getting over hungry, especially if the selected meal time
is later than your usual routine. How about for you? What strategies might
slowly and with great awareness. Enjoy the foods you've
selected. It takes 20 minutes for your stomach to notify your brain that you
are full! Pause and talk to people, go to the bathroom, put your fork down,
take sips of water (that slows your pace and helps your stomach feel full).
Tune in to body signals of satisfaction and fullness.
Don't wait for a stuffed feeling. Stop when you're just satisfied. It's not
your last meal. You will be able to eat again! Don't use the "empty plate"
as your signal that you've eaten enough.
non-food pleasantries. Let
yourself enjoy a few minutes of relaxation. Concentrate on the good
conversation that you are having with friends. Look around and enjoy the
environment. Take time to enjoy being waited on. And lastly, enjoy the fact
that you don't have any dishes to do or messes to clean up!
One way to
naturally balance for additional calories eaten is to
plan some enjoyable physical activity into
your routine afterwards.
What can you do?
How do you cut back on fat and calories? How do you make special requests? How
do you go to ethnic restaurants and make healthy choices?
Here are some suggested solutions from the Web:
Tips for eating out
from Choose My Plate:
portions--Just Enough For You from the Weight Information Network. Check
out their PUBLICATIONS page.
The WIN site has many other topics on weight control:
Tips from the
American Heart Association which include ethnic ideas and
checklists for eating out:
Fast food nutrition
– is it possible? Go to explore: http://www.helpguide.org/life/fast_food_nutrition.htm
Tips from Nebraska
Lincoln--let the Pyramid guide your food choices:
Tips for dining out
and getting less salt (for hypertension)--Includes ethnic food types:
Tips for following
a lowfat lifestyle:
Tips for eating out
guide to eating-out tips for eating healthfully:
Guide to Healthy
Restaurant Eating. By Hop S. Warshaw, MMSc, RD, CDE, McGraw-Hill Publishers,
Hope Warshaw MMSC,
RD, CDE is a certified, nationally known diabetes educator
and the author of many books that promote practical and
delicious ways to discover and apply healthful eating in a
hectic world. About Hope:
Dining Lean. By
Joanne V. Licten, RD, Nutrifit Publishing, 2000.
Americans spend more than $400
billion a year eating out, and behind each burger, turkey sandwich, and
ice cream sundae is a simple decision that could help you control your
weight-and your life. The problem is, restaurant chains and food
producers aren't interested in helping you make healthy choices. In
fact, they invest $30 billion a year on advertising, much of it aimed at
confusing eaters and disguising the fat and calorie counts of their
products. All of that has changed with EAT THIS, NOT THAT!. This
book puts the entire food industry under the spotlight, and arms you
with the savvy tricks and insider information it takes to eat well no
matter where you are. With EAT THIS, NOT THAT! you're the expert
in every eating situation, from the frozen food aisle to your favorite
fast food joint to your local sports bar. You control your food
universe-and lose the pounds you want--because, unlike every other
customer, you'll know the smart choices to make-instantly! EAT THIS,
NOT THAT! is jam-packed with secrets the restaurant industry doesn't
want you to know.
A fun book to
review for calorie and fat content in VISUAL portions is:
Perfect Weight Loss: The Visual Program for Permanent Weight Loss
Filled with practical advice for
lasting weight loss. The AMAZING FEATURE about
this book is that it has hundreds of
comparisons (PICTURES) among foods
showing portion sizes and the calories
that each contains. You will be surprised!
He also shows many ways to experience
guilt-free dining out. Published by
Warner Books (paperback) in January,
2003. He also has a SHOPPERS GUIDE
for the supermarket to promote grocery
store choices for permanent weight loss. Visit also:
Restaurant and Fast Food Nutrition Facts
Fast-Food and Chain Restaurant
Nutrition Facts from Diet Power: