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Eating out cannot be avoided forever, no matter how hard we try. Whether we’re going out socially or simply on the run, eating out has become a staple in most of our lives. And let’s be honest, sometimes it’s nice to have a delicious meal that requires no work. However, when we dine out we are typically unaware of the way our food is prepared, we tend to overeat, and we feel pressured to order similar to those around us. Luckily, I have some tips and tricks to help you make wiser decisions. While eating out is unavoidable, with the proper tools and knowledge, it becomes manageable…
1. Look up the menu beforehand.
You are more likely to make poor food decisions when you are distracted or hungry. Looking up the menu in advanced allows you to find something that works for you and stick to it.
2. Have a light snack before you arrive.
Having a high protein low calorie snack like an apple, nuts, or yogurt before you arrive can help you avoid over eating
3. Ask how your food is cooked.
Look for food that has been steamed, grilled, roasted or poached. In general, these cooking methods equate to less fat and therefore fewer calories.
4. Ask for sauces and dressing on the side.
Sauces and dressings can contain a lot of excess fat and sugar, it is helpful to ask for them on the side and use them in moderation. Choose tomato-based sauces over the cream.
5. Eat slowly and chew thoroughly.
Often we eat so quickly we don’t allow our bodies enough time to feel full so we end up over eating. If you take the time to fully chew all your food or put down your utensils in between bites, this can help you slowdown.
6. Share a meal or ask for a small plate.
Restaurant portions are typically very large and when the food is in front of us it is hard to stop, even when were full. Sharing a meal is a good idea. Also asking for a small plate and eating off that instead of your main plate can help with portion control.
7. Have a cup of coffee or tea instead of dessert.
Many times after a meal we still crave a little something sweet. Ordering an espresso or a cup of tea can help curb those cravings.
8. Drink water before and during your meal.
Our brains commonly mistake thirst for hunger, so often times we eat when really we are simply dehydrated. Having water before and during your meal can help you feel more full and hydrated helping you to avoid overeating.