One of the hardest parts of dieting is eating healthy in social settings. With everything from happy hour to dinner parties to eating out, there are many opportunities to ruin your diet without even knowing it. Restaurants often have high-calorie options or additions that are well hidden, so it can be difficult to choose the healthiest option while dining out.
Fortunately, we’ve put together this “cheat sheet” to help you enjoy a night out without derailing your weight loss goals. Learn how to eat out while losing weight to ensure you stay on track.
Choose Oil and Vinegar on the Side
Salad is always a safe option in a restaurant, right? Not always. Some salads can pack the same caloric punch as getting a steak with all the fixings, especially with some of the calorie-dense dressings available. Spare yourself hundreds of calories and control the portion size of the dressing by choosing oil and vinegar on the side.
Skip the Bread
When you think of unhealthy food, images of beer, cookies, candy, burgers and other unhealthy American fare probably comes to mind. Surprisingly, the number-one source of calories in our diets isn’t any of these foods. Bread, whether it’s on our sandwiches, sitting in a basket on the table or on the side of our otherwise healthy breakfast, is packed with calories and offers little nutrition to balance them out.
Restaurants serve bread as a way to cause a sugar rush followed by a crash, which makes you hungrier for dessert after your meal. The best solution is to skip the bread altogether, but if you’re too hungry to wait, order the shrimp cocktail. This small appetizer is only 100 calories and gives you plenty of filling protein, which helps you eat less over the course of the meal.
Watch Your Portions
Portion control can be difficult to begin with, especially with the excessive portions at restaurants. Order an appetizer or an entrée off the kid’s menu as your meal, which automatically gives you a more appropriate portion size and helps you avoid overeating.
Choose Broiled Instead of Grilled
Many “grilled” foods in restaurants are actually cooked on a grill plate, which is basically a frying pan that locks fat into the meat instead of cooking it off like a normal grill. Ask the waiter if the food is flame grilled, which is a healthy method that decreases the fat content in meat. If the food isn’t flame grilled, ask to have it broiled instead.
Get Berries for Dessert
Dessert can be hard to pass up, so if you want to indulge without adding a bunch of calories, ask for a bowl of berries with whipped cream. Most restaurants keep blueberries and strawberries on hand, both of which are low in calories and excellent for weight loss.
If they don’t have berries, just go for a small bowl of plain chocolate or vanilla ice cream. Both have fewer than 150 calories and are enough to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Keep it Balanced
Learning how to eat out while losing weight is a start, but the biggest thing is changing your mindset. People are less likely to choose a healthy option at a restaurant if it feels like a treat or special occasion. If you don’t dine out often, one splurge meal won’t hurt, but if you tend to dine out for many of your meals, it’s important to choose the healthiest option every time.
Boost Your Weight Loss with Help from FeelWell
Learning how to eat out while losing weight can be a challenge, but FeelWell is here to help. Our custom-made compression garments and accessories can boost your weight loss by bearing the weight for you, which helps you combat fatigue and stay active. This results in better overall weight loss, so you can splurge a little bit more on those special nights out. Contact us today to learn more about our compression garments and accessories and how they can help you reach your goals!