With so many beach side surf clubs, pubs and delicious restaurants along the coast, eating out can be the kryptonite to your diet. This is not to say that it cannot be done. Of course you do not want to cancel those highly important social gathering or business meetings. There is a way to eat out without your waist line paying the price. Follow these tips to survive the basic pub/club menu:
1. Beware of the Serving Size. Over the years restaurant portions have more than doubled. No wonder we are raising obese and overweight children. It is often hard to leave food on your plate – you are thinking ‘I am getting my money’s worth”, or “my mother always told me I couldn’t leave the table until I ate everything on my plate”. It can be quite hard to break these ingrained traditions. So why are restaurants serving up such big servings? It makes them look good. Who wants to be served one small piece of chicken with one lettuce leaf? Customers are more willing to go back to a place when they think they are getting value for money.
So how can you avoid this problem? Share your food with a friend. Get one meal between you and maybe a side as well. Ask for some to be put into a doggy bag before you even start eating, this way you are not tempted to keep eating until that “full” alarm goes off in your brain. Ask for a half serving size – often they will accommodate you.
2. Often meals you may normally consider to be healthy have hidden fat traps. Fat can be good for you if it is the right type of fat. However, the amount used in restaurant cooking can be enormous and often foods are deep friend and cooked in unhealthy oils. Be careful when looking at the wording of meals. Just because it has the word salad in it does not mean it is necessary healthy. Frying food or adding creamy condiments negates the health benefits and you may as well have just ordered the burger and fries like you wanted to in the first place.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask! Just because it is not on the menu does not mean they cannot make it. Most chefs will be willing to assist you if they have the ingredients and you are not too fussy. If there is nothing healthy on the menu ask for a salad with some grilled chicken. Always ask for dressings on the side so you can control how much goes on your meal. Ask for your meat to be grilled not fried, salad instead of chips, or tomato instead of cream sauce. There are many small things you can tweak to avoid a calorie overload.
4. Don’t fill up on Breads and entrees. You do not need it as well as a large meal.
5. Do not go out hungry. When you are hungry you tend to make unhealthy choices. Your blood sugar is low so you are craving carbohydrates, leading to pasta, pizza and burgers calling out your name.
Choosing a healthy mean does not mean choosing a boring meal. Try to keep these tips in mind and you can still enjoy good food whilst avoiding blowing your calorie limit. To get more handy tips or your own personalised eating plan book an appointment with Kasey!