There are so many reasons to eat out, so many restaurants and so many food choices that sometimes it is overwhelming. At Eating Free we encourage you to continue having fun and enjoy a good meal. However, going out to eat can be detrimental to your meal plan if you are not careful. Here are eating out tips:
• Eat before you go. If you eat about thirty minutes to an hour before dining out, it will make sticking to your meal plan much easier. When your stomach is growling, making good food choices is hard. A good example of a pre-meal snack is: a small piece of fruit, a yogurt and a bit of low fat cheese.
• Avoid skipping breakfast and lunch to “save up.” Skipping meals will definitely make you overeat and slows down your metabolism (for more about this please refer to the appetite and metabolism section).
• Eat the lower-calorie foods first. Order soups and salads to start and you will be less hungry when the higher-calorie entrée arrives.
• If bread or chips are too tempting, REMOVE them from your table. Do not fool yourself with willpower. It is almost impossible to stop eating if it is in front of you. So practice out of sight, out of mouth.
• Order an appetizer as your main entrée.
• Think about your choices and what will be best for your meal plan and limit your alcohol intake.
• Ask about portion sizes and how things are cooked.
• Request substitutions. Many restaurants are great about accommodating your needs.
• Always ask for salad dressing and sauces on the side and do not trust a menu that describes a dressing as light. This definition is misused frequently.
• Choose broiled, grilled, or roasted meats and steamed vegetables.
• If portion sizes are too large, share it or ask for a “take-home bag.”