Dieting while you cook at home is a cinch as you can keep a tab on your food intake and in the process ensure you maintain your calorie intake. However it is when you are on a fat-loss diet, and go out dining in a restaurant that you face a challenge maintaining your food and calorie intake.
This is because you feel you are at the mercy of the chef when you dine out and if you are not careful while eating, you may walk away too full and have consumed more calories than required or permitted.
If you are not careful, dining out can slow down your overall fat-loss results which is why you need to learn how to choose the low-calorie, nutritious foods from menus. Once you make such smart decisions, you can walk away from any restaurant confident that your diet is in check.
Tips for choosing food in restaurant
* Be careful about appetizers as most of them are full of calories, much more than a single entrée.
* Stay away from fried foods like fried onions or potatoes and chicken-fried steak; practically anything which is cooked in extra oil should be avoided.
* Avoid bread items as they have fat and carbs, which have to be avoided.
* If confused, choose grilled chicken as chicken is the leanest source of protein and contains minimum fat when grilled.
* Dressing should be ordered on the side so that you can control how much you use. Aim to use half, if not less of what is provided.
* Avoid cream sauces as any sauce with heavy cream or butter base is full of fat and calories.
* Steamed vegetables are best as a side dish, as long as you order them without butter.
* Broth-based soups are better than the creamy varieties as they are low in calories.
* Avoid bread baskets which only add hundreds of calories to your meal, especially with butter or olive oil.
* Have your salad without fixings like croutons, candied nuts, noodles and cheese which all increase the caloric content of the salad.
* Avoid desserts at all costs as most restaurant desserts have at least 800 calories. If it’s a celebration and you need a dessert, split one portion between 3-4 people.
* As most chefs add too much sauce and additional calories to stir fry dishes, ask for light sauce if you order.
* Avoid large meat serving sizes as 3-4 ounces with a generous serving of vegetables is more than sufficient for most people.
* Wherever possible, order for half an order as most restaurants’ portions serve twice or thrice more than an actual serving. This is especially for pasta dishes; a half portion still means lots of food with a smaller bill.
* Instead of ingesting more calories through beverages, order only water.
* Lean cuts of steak are a better choice where steaks can be great if properly cut.
Don’t take things lightly
With the help of these tips, you will now feel confident and comfortable to eat out when on a diet. Just keep these suggestions in mind while you go through the menu to decide your order. Don’t take this info lightly as a wrong order can mean more than 1500 extra calories for a meal; the number of calories usually consumed by dieters for the entire day!