When you are dining out, there are several variables on the table in front of you that are gunning for your diet. In fact, if you are not careful, every single morsel you put into your mouth could find its way to your waistline or your hips, and not in a flattering JLo style.
Why are you so surprised? It’s not as if you didn’t know all along that eating out so often was going to upset the balance of your body. You thought you could pig out to your heart’s content without having to pay the price for it? Well, not all is lost even now. Here’s how you can work your way around the landmine of the menu in front of you, in hopes that you will survive the dieting holocaust that is known as dining out.
First off, be extremely wary of anything on there that is described as crispy, escalloped, creamy, pan-fried, confit, au gratin, or tempura. All these words mean only one thing – “high calorie”. As plain and simple as that. Instead stick with food choices that are broiled, steamed, poached or grilled, since they have fewer calories without compromising on the taste factor.
For meat lovers, seafood and fish are generally safer choices. I use the word “safer” and not “healthier” for a reason. There still might be extra calories and high-fat ingredients used in preparation, but at least you can console yourself with the fact that you are getting a good amount of healthy omega-3 fats in your food. If you are absolutely, totally, and helplessly in love with steak, at least make the sane decision of ordering sirloin or T-bone steaks, since they are the leanest cuts.
Make tiny improvisations in your meal. Instead of French fries, ask for extra veggies. Even if they are topped with butter, they are a lot healthier than deep fried potatoes. Most people follow a three course meal. If you are really calorie conscious, you should order just an appetizer like a soup or shrimp cocktail and a side of vegetables. That’s right – skip the main course and dessert. I know it breaks your heart but who said a great body was easy to get? Any indulgences you do want to allow yourself – such as that divine chocolate truffle or the decadent cheesecake – is best shared with people around the table.
Watch out for those table munchies; you know – the chips and salsa, the bread and olive oil, and those crispy noodles. These innocent little things displayed enticingly on your table leads to mindless binging and before you know it you have downed calories worth an entire meal, before your dinner has even begun.
Finally, go easy on those drinks as well. What harm could they possibly do? Well, statistics reveal that the body fails to register liquid calories as fast as solid ones. So that means you could have several drinks, each more than at least 150 calories, without your body sending out signals to the brain that you are full.
With so many restrictions how can one possibly enjoy a meal? Yes, I’ve often wondered about that myself. That’s why several leading health and nutrition experts recommend that every once in a while you should allow yourself an all out, no-holds barred, everything-on-the-table, meal where you order all your favorites. But make sure this happens only rarely; don’t make this a norm or we are going to end up right where we started – dishing out advice on how to eat sensibly when you are dining out.
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