Restaurant meals are famously difficult for those losing weight. Find out how to make weight loss enhancing food choices in any restaurant.
Ask anyone to sit down and create a diet that will result in weight loss and most can come up with a meal plan that will result in weight loss. The difficulty is not in knowing what foods to eat, but rather the challenge of eating a healthy diet in a culture obsessed with eating out in restaurants. Cooking meals at home is a lifestyle change that has a significant impact on calories consumed because most meals cooked at home have fewer calories and less fat than similar meals prepared at restaurants.
Changing lifestyles to reduce the number of meals eaten at restaurants is a great long-term solution to reducing calories, but social lives must go on and few will completely stop eating in restaurants. For many, restaurants are a way of life that they simply are not willing to sacrifice at the weight loss altar. Restaurant meals can be fat-laden calorie bombs, but by making smarter choices using these weight loss tips, those hoping to lose weight can eat out and still keep some control over their diet.
Nutrition Information Helps Make Better Weight Loss Choices
Most large restaurants and national restaurant chains have nutrition information available, either in a restaurant brochure or on their website. With a small amount of planning, it is easier to make better choices about food with the calorie information available. Smaller, local restaurants are less likely to have nutritional information handy, but asking servers about ingredients and food preparation can give a rough idea about food calories.
Meal Modifications Lead to Weight Loss Success
If there are simply no good options on the menu, ask for the fmeal to be modified. Try to choose foods that are grilled, broiled, or poached rather than fried, sauteed, or otherwise smothered in butter and cheese. Request that offending items be “on the side,” if possible. Ask for additional vegetables rather than a starch item loaded with high calorie condiments. The requests will not always be possible, but most restaurants will do their best to accommodate customer requests.
The Right Appetizer Can Mean Greater Weight Loss
While it may seem counter-intuitive, ordering an appetizer can create a sense of satiety and keep one from indulging on a large number of calories from a super-sized entree. Just make sure to choose a healthy option for the appetizer, like a small salad or cup of soup. High fiber salads and vegetable, broth-based soups are filling and likely have a lower calorie density than entrees, reducing the total calories consumed in the meal.
Beware of large amounts of mayonnaise-based dressing or heavy, cream-based soups. Choose a low-calorie dressing, or order the dressing on the side so that the amount eaten can be controlled.
Salads – Weight Loss Friend or Foe?
A salad seems like a great choice available in most restaurants and it certainly can be a smart selection, but some restaurant salads contain a whopping amount of calories and fat. Large amounts of high calorie toppings such as bacon, cheese, ham, and dressing can quickly turn a healthy meal into a meal containing more fat and calories than a super-sized fast food meal. Ask to have the salad prepared with offending toppings and dressing on the side.
Lose More Weight By Sharing
Most restaurant portions are far bigger than one would normally consume. Restaurant entree portions can easily contain three or more servings of food and an entire day’s worth of calories and fat. Sharing also reduces the cost of the meal by ordering fewer entrees.
Food preparation and ingredients may not be able to be controlled, but portions are the decision of the consumer. If circumstances don’t allow for sharing, ask for a to-go box when the meal arrives and immediately put half in the box. This will spread the restaurant meal calories over two meals, rather than a single, huge meal.
Eating meals in a restaurant may not be the best option for weight loss, but choosing a healthier lifestyle should not doom someone to life as a shut-in. By following these weight loss tips, those watching their weight can, at least, minimize the diet damage done by eating out.