It’s summer and it’s HOT! That means wanting to be in the kitchen less and going out to eat more! Who doesn’t love dining al fresco! But going out can be a recipe for weight-loss disaster.
Americans have increased their away-from-home share of calories from 18% to 32% in the last three decades, mainly from table-service and fast food restaurants. Food prepared away from home is higher in saturated fat, sodium, and cholesterol, and lower in dietary fiber than food prepared at home. Don’t assume that restaurants (even high-end restaurants) serve healthy food. Restaurants serve what consumers like — fat, salt, sugar and lots of calories.
- Avoid All-You-Can-Eat: It’s too tempting to go up and refill your plate in the attempt to try everything served at the buffet or even to go up and get seconds (or thirds) of our favorite items! Buffets are detrimental to your waistline!
- Don’t Leave the House Hungry: Having a healthy snack like an apple or a handful of nuts can help your eyes from being bigger than your stomach. It will also deter you from dipping into the bread basket because you won’t be overly hungry as soon as you sit down at the table.
- Order First: Avoid being swayed to order what others are ordering. Stay on your plan and order fibrous and high protein foods. Substitute vegetables for starches. Avoid sauces made with milk, cheese, butter, oil or mayonnaise and choose marinara and tomato based sauces. Look for options that have keywords such as grilled, baked, steamed, broiled, poached, stir fried, roasted or blackened.
- Dealing with a Salad Bar: Load up your plate on raw vegetables. Marinated vegetables have unknown oils and preservatives in them. Avoid mayonnaise based salads like tuna, egg or macaroni. Choose oil and vinegar for dressing, or a vinaigrette. Looking to add some crunch? Skip the croutons and add some nuts or seeds which are packed with nutrition.
- Control Your Portion: Don’t feel the need to clean your plate. Restaurants typically serve large portions. Use your palm as a reference, this should be the size of the protein on your plate. Any more should be wrapped up and taken home, bonus – leftovers!
– Christine Emmi & Rosanne Ryder, Simple Steps Holistic Health Coaches