Let's Eat out with WeightMatters
Don’t surrender your social life in an effort to eat healthier. Learn how to navigate restaurant menus and stay on your diet while eating out with Weightmatters.
Eating healthy doesn’t have to mean skimping on romantic evenings out or losing time with family and friends. Instead of staying at home and missing out on a delicious restaurant meal, arm yourself with knowledge so you can be social and eat smart. Follow these sure-fire tips to help you stick to your diet when dining out!
Tips to Help you Eat out & Stay on Track
1.Don't Drink your Calories
Cutting out fizzy drinks, fancy coffee with syrup, and alcohol is one of the simplest strategies to reduce overall calories when dieting. If you follow this tip at home, simply carry it with you to any restaurant meal. Choose calorie-free options such as water (bonus: this one is usually free!) or a diet beverage.
Instead of blowing your calorie bank on liquids, save indulgences for the main course.
2. Take control of your meal
Too often, people are hesitant to speak up about their preferences when ordering at restaurants. Never feel obligated to accept a meal other than what you originally planned. While you might have to ask for off-menu replacements, you shouldn’t settle for a meal that completely deviates from the one you planned. Take control of your meal using these simple methods:
PERSONALIZE PREPARATION METHODS
Restaurants are pretty good at offering low-fat cooking options such as baking, roasting, or grilling, but keep in mind that simply asking for something grilled may not be enough. Despite being grilled or roasted, steaks and fish are often cooked in butter—a noticeable flavour booster, but unnoticeable calorie-booster. Don’t be afraid to ask the chef to hold the butter, skip the sauce, and bypass the oil so you can stay on track.
SKIP THE FREE OFFERINGS
Don’t let the bread basket that greets you at the table be your downfall. Remember, snacking counts! Filling up on complimentary tortilla chips will still cost you calories. While it’s easy to slowly nibble on these not-so-nutritious snacks, they disappear quickly, which can add unwanted calories fast. Take charge and simply inform your waitress or waiter ahead of time that you’re not interested in the freebies. This will place the unnecessary calories out of reach.
MAKE THE MENU YOURS
Don’t fancy the baked-potato that comes with the grilled sirloin? Maybe your mouth is watering over the quinoa salad served with the fresh catch of the day, but you’re allergic to seafood. Rather than falling back to a simple grilled chicken breast and salad, speak up and ask the server specifically for what you want: the grilled sirloin and quinoa salad.
There’s simply no reason why you shouldn’t be able to order each item you want, even if what you’re after isn’t paired together on the menu. After all, the ingredients are sure to be on hand for both items. Take control of your meal and enjoy it.
3. Eat Protein , Vegatables and Carbs in that order
Protein and high-fibre vegetables help to slow down digestion, which leaves you feeling fuller, faster. By placing an emphasis on these two items from the start, you’re less likely to overindulge in a creamy, sugary dessert because you’re already full.
Your source of fat may come from your succulent steak, fresh vinaigrette, or even from sliced avocado. If you happen to have a healthy fat mixed in, go ahead and eat that in conjunction with the protein and veggies before thinking about chips!
4.Think About Portion control from the Start
From supersized and extra chips to all-you-can-eat extravaganzas, restaurants are quickly becoming patrons’ favourite places, not only because of the dishes they serve, but because of the size of those dishes. Many people see it simply as “the bigger, the better.” While, this gets you more value for your money, if you’re like many people and feel the urge to clean your plate, you’re likely to hit your calories for the next three days all in one meal.
If you find yourself at a restaurant with over-sized portions, you can request that a doggie bag be brought out after your meal. This way, once your food arrives at the table, you can put away a portion and focus on enjoying food at hand. Tomorrow’s lunch will be sorted‼
I am not kidding. Try to deny yourself the chocolate soufflé and you just might eat something worse (like an entire tub of ice cream) when you get home.
The smart dining out on a diet strategy: Order one dessert to share. A few bites should satisfy your sweet tooth. Not in the mood to share? Ask for a low-calorie dessert of berries or a small fruit sorbet.
What to Eat (and What to Avoid) When You're Dining Out on the WeightMatters Plan
Try these low-calorie restaurant meals and healthy choices at every type of restaurant.
- Choose: Grilled chicken or fish (ask for the sauce separately and use just one tablespoon) with a green salad (dressing on the side)
- Not: Deep-fried foods.
- Choose: Fajitas made with grilled meats and vegetables, burritos or enchiladas filled with chicken, prawn, or lean meat and a small amount of cheese
- Not: Dishes smothered with cheese, fried chimichangas, refried beans, large bowls of tortilla chips, jugs of margaritas (stick to one glass if you must )
- Choose: Sushi made with prawn, tuna, tofu, or vegetables, sashimi, miso soup, teppanyaki dishes (meat, fish, or vegetables cooked on an iron griddle)
- Not: Tempura, large platters of sushi rolls (each can be 250 calories or more, and you can easily eat two or three), teriyaki sauce can contain a lot of sugar
- Choose: Stir-fried prawn, chicken and vegetables, steamed brown rice
- Not: Dishes with thick sweet-and-sour sauces like Kung Pao chicken, large bowls of rice, fried egg rolls, breaded or deep-fried foods.
- Choose: Tandoori chicken or other foods cooked in a tandoori oven; look for “tikka” or “bhuna” dishes, which aren’t covered with heavy sauces Not: Dishes that come with creamy sauces – Korma, naan (Indian breads that are often stuffed with potatoes or coconut and topped with butter), deep-fried samosas
- Choose: Vegetable or seafood antipasto, minestrone soup, fish or chicken dishes served with vegetables, grilled meats
- Not: Deep-fried and breaded foods such as veal or aubergine parmesan, creamy sauces such as fettuccine Alfredo, dishes stuffed with cheese such as manicotti and calzones.
- Choose: Americano coffee with milk; 11 calories
- Not: A large latte; 340 calories.