Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Real World Tips to Avoid Getting Fat Eating in Restaurants

Do you live on restaurant meals?  Starbucks in the morning, followed by Cafe Express for lunch and Mi Cocina at dinner?  That sounds like a normal Dallas day for many.

If you're eating all the food restaurants put on your plate, you can easily pile on the pounds.  Yahoo Shine has an informative blog post offering "10 Ways to Lose Weight at Restaurants."  I have lived my professional life on the road, eating at restaurants and lost more than 50 pounds in the process.  It's possible.

Some of the tips are good common sense, like these:

4 "Sauce on the side please!" - this is a no brainer.  Also ask for every salad dressing on the side. I would go a step further: when it comes to salads, ask for plain balsamic vinegar.  It's delicious and helps you avoid getting fat eating salads.

5 "All-you-can-eat buffets are not the answer" - True words!  I'm sorry, you might think you're saving money but if you overindulge in these enough, it will cost you in the long run.  You will pay for new clothes because you're gaining weight. You might also be visiting the doctor more frequently because of all the fried crap and sugar-loaded bombs you are consuming.  

I lived on the Golden Corral buffet when I was broke and worked in Knoxville in the 90's.  I was fat, sick and miserable. AVOID THESE.

One of the tips from the Yahoo article is important for us parents:

"8. I was a pediatric dietitian in a former life, so I feel compelled to warn parents against seemingly "kid-friendly" items. You likely already know this: Kids' meals can be loaded with calories, fat, and fillers that neither young nor old need to consume. Seemingly pint-sized meals weigh in at over 1000 calories-more calories than your little one might need in an entire day! Instead of ordering from the kids' menu, try ordering a healthy choice off the adult menu, and either request a smaller portion, split the meal, or simply take leftovers home."

Good advice.  Those chicken fingers and mini-pizzas are not your kid's friend.

Dinner at Maxim's in Paris - no chicken fingers allowed!
I would add the following:
  • Don't eat the whole meal.  Restaurant portions are huge.  Put half of your entree in a box.  You won't miss the other half and you will have an additional meal for later in the week. 
  • If it's just a regular restaurant night out and not the meal of a lifetime, leave two bites on your plate.  Two, small bites will save you some calories. 
  • Getting quesadillas or something else cheesy?  Ask the server to go light on the cheese.  Again, you won't miss the extra grease. 
  • Share your desserts!  Always.  You don't need the whole thing. 
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