How to Dine Out and Stick to Your Healthy Eating Habits
On the weekends when I dine out, I want to enjoy the food I’m served, so I order whatever I’m in the mood for at that moment. Sometimes, it’s grilled salmon on top of a bright green salad and other times it’s a juicy bacon cheeseburger with French fries. For me on the weekends, which is when I tend to eat out more, sticking with my healthy habits isn’t so much about what I eat (I think there’s room for all foods in one’s diet), but more about the portion sizes I consume and the key word….moderation. With that said, here are my go-to tricks for keeping my portions (and calories) in check while dining out!
“2 out of 3 rule”
My top trick for dining out is what
I call the “2 out of 3 rule,” which allows me to indulge (within reason!) by
picking two splurges from a meal’s typical options: the breadbasket, a
cocktail, or dessert. I don’t want to miss out on any of the fun of dining out,
so I allow myself to enjoy two out of three of these choices. So maybe I’ll
pass on the breadbasket, but I’ll enjoy a cocktail and share a dessert with
Erin at the end of the meal, actually I have 3 kids so sharing a dessert is
easy because the kids haven’t allowed me a full portion of anything yummy in
years :-). This method allows me to indulge,
but not overdo it. (also remember my post earlier in the week about subbing drinks, instead of fruity cocktails or beer, sub in vodka tonic or something else).
Taste the appetizers
The appetizers at the beginning of the meal are supposed to stimulate one’s appetite for the main meal, but they’re not suppose to be a meal themselves. Do you get what I’m saying? So I keep this in mind and only taste two or three bites of each appetizer served and then put my fork down to save room (and calories) for the main course. If I consume too much at the beginning of the meal, I inevitably end up overeating when more plates are placed in front of me.
Keep It Simple
When I’m looking at the menu and considering what to order, I try to look for entrees without a huge, long description. I’m sure I’d love a bacon, Swiss cheese burger with sun-dried tomato on a cheddar-crusted jalapeno bun, but I know a plain burger (ok, cheeseburger) with guacamole (and, ok, maybe bacon & a fried egg) is a more friendly option. Of course, I want to enjoy what I order, so I make sure my meal includes a few fun and tasty options, but not ALL of them.
Visualize half of my entrée
As you probably know, restaurant portions are usually supersized, so once my entrée arrives, I visualize a line down the center of my plate. I eat half the food and then save the rest to pack up with me to take home for later. This way, I don’t end up eating too much, and I have tasty leftovers for the next day’s lunch!
Slow down and focus on what I’m eating
You’ve probably heard it takes someone about 20 minutes to recognize that they’re full. With this in mind, I slow my eating pace and really focus on my meal when I dine out. Chewing my food, tasting and savoring it instead of inhaling it, makes the meal so much more pleasurable. Slowing down also helps me better read my body’s hunger signals so I don’t overeat. A little trick I use when dining out: Try not to be the first one finished eating!
Now if you’re eating out multiple
times a week, modify this plan to indulging less and less every meal :-) Have a great weekend.
Strength: Shoulder Press Week 1
7 Minute AMRAP
3 Thrusters Rx(135/85) FB(165/105)
30 Double Unders