Do you desire quantity or quality? You'll find the more expensive restaurants have smaller portions. They offer quality ingredients, atmosphere, and service. It's a dining out experience. In the lesser-priced restaurants, you'll notice a larger quantity of food, with little or no atmosphere and service.
The highest-grossing restaurant chains in America are fast food restaurants. While fast food chains are making an effort to serve healthier selections and portions, they still have a very long way to go to make it a reality. Some market themselves as the healthy place to eat. Just be aware, at these establishments, the food is high in fat, salt, and yes... hidden sugar.
There are many reasons, and many ways, to eat out. When I work with clients who rarely eat out, I suggest they make it a special experience. Enjoy everything the restaurant offers, including dessert if desired. On the other hand, when I work with clients who eat out regularly, the advice is just the opposite. Eating out is routine, and choices must be made so the consequence of eating out is not excess weight.
So the choice is where to eat and what type of restaurant you desire. That choice can change from day to day or for any reason. But socializing is crucial to your well-being, and if eating out with others is your way of socializing, it is in your best interest to find a way to make it work for you. You can eat out, eat healthfully, and manage your weight at the same time, wherever you eat.
Always be aware of your portion sizes. You can ask your server for the exact serving size for an item on the menu. If they are not sure, they will ask the kitchen. Your serving is the restaurant's inventory; they know the amount of food on your plate!
Follow these "10 Ways to Eat Out Healthfully" and always enjoy eating out:
- Eat beforehand to control your appetite, not to suppress your appetite. Try to eat something small containing protein before you get to a restaurant. Often a cup of milk, soy milk, or almond milk will suffice. It has enough protein to hold you over and help you make a wise choice in the restaurant. It will also help you ignore the bread basket, or similar free items placed on your table.
One last food for thought... if you choose a high-calorie meal in a restaurant, leave the uneaten portion there and do not take the rest home for another day. If you enjoy it while you are out, that's enough. There is no need to eat it again, regardless of how much you paid for it. You have already gotten your money's worth by enjoying it that one time.
Follow these tips and you'll continually enjoy dining out. I'll see you in the restaurants.