Nutrition Tip October 2 2010

Ten Things to Consider When Eating Out

1) If possible, check out the restaurant’s nutritional guide online prior to going out.

2) Avoid most appetizers – they are usually refined grains (bread bowls, chips & salsa) or fried. If others in your party are ordering an appetizer, consider getting a salad or broth soup for yourself.

3) Remember the plate model when ordering your entrée – 1/2 plate of veggies, 1/4 plate of protein, 1/4 plate of a whole grain. To accomplish these portions, consider ordering an entrée + a side salad and splitting both with another person or taking half home. For example, you can order a pasta/chicken dish and salad (preferable NOT one with a cream sauce), and portion it out to fit the plate model.

4) If ordering a dish that has a protein, veggies, and a grain, considering skipping the grain altogether (especially if you are trying to lose weight). Most restaurants offer refined grains instead of whole grains, so it will just be extra calories acting as sugar in your body.

5) No matter which meal you’re eating out, keep it to no more than 1 grain. For example, a burger with a salad rather than a burger with fries. If you have pasta, skip the French bread.

6) Avoid cream sauces, soups, desserts, etc (especially if you are trying to lose weight).

7) Consider decaf coffee or tea for dessert if others in your party are having dessert.

8) If drinking alcohol, choose drinks that do not have a lot of sugary ingredients added (ie. Daiquiri). Instead choose wine, beer, etc and give yourself a limit. Try drinking a whole glass of water between alcoholic drinks, and keep it to 2 or less.

9) Eat slowly so that you know when you’re full. Ask to have leftover boxed or removed from the table so that you don’t continue to “pick” at it.

10) Remember, you are in control of what you put into your mouth. You are strong enough to make good decisions, enjoy the food and opportunity to eat out, and stop eating when you need to stop.

c/o Kelli Jennings

  • Aaron

    Good advice. I also recommend keeping a calorie log, which gives you a better idea what you are putting in your body. I use MyNetDiary but Lose-it is also good. I don’t use it for weight loss anymore (cycling takes care of that) but It helps me balance carbs, protein, etc.