Florida lifestyle, decorating, and retirement are topics covered by Virginia, who shares her own experiences.
Changing the Way You Eat in Restaurants
Don't wait for New Year's to resolve to lose weight. You can make changes at any time in the way you eat. We're going to focus on restaurant dining here, and the small changes that help your plans for slimming down.
Restaurants want their customers to feel they had ample food, so usually, it's larger servings than we really need. There are a number of ways you can eat well without having a total pig-out. Check out the ideas below and start applying them for dining out experiences that won't load on the pounds.
I Want to Change My Eating Out Habits, But It Isn't Easy
This year, I didn't make the usual sure-to-fail resolution to lose weight. It just doesn't seem like something I follow through on and then I feel like a failure.
My new approach is to take my cues from my slim friends. Twice a month, after our writing group meeting we go to lunch at the Grille. The foods on the menu are similar to what you could order at Applebee's or Chili's.
Having grown up eating hearty farm fare, my tendency is to order a heaping plate of pasta with a heavy sauce over it or a filling sandwich like a Reuben loaded with cheese and dripping with sauce. I know those aren't the best choices, but the menu pictures look so enticing and I'm having a good time with friends, so I treat myself.
Learning to Eat Like My Slim Friends
Looking around at what my slender friend's order shows me clearly why they are trim and I am plump. Instead of drinking bottomless glasses of Coke, they are having tea or water with lemon. Last year, I gave up the colas and now I order water with lemon when I'm in a restaurant.
That was just a start. Now I need to follow their example with the foods I order. Instead of calorie-laden menu items, I'll order a salad with the dressing on the side. Then I can dip my fork into the dressing for each bite or drizzle it on sparingly.
If I'm not in the mood for a salad, I can order an appetizer and make a meal of that. Usually, that's slightly smaller than a lunch serving from the menu. Another option is to order the senior portion or from the child's menu for a smaller serving.
Sometimes a friend orders a meal and saves half to take home. Two meals for the price of one so it is half the calories as well. Smart thinking.
Read More From Delishably
What do you think of my strategy?
Tips to Eating Healthier When Dining Out
- Scan the menu for sections called the lighter side or items marked as healthy choices.
- Consider having an appetizer instead of a full meal.
- Choose foods that aren't covered in sauces or cheeses.
- Have your salad dressing on the side to apply sparingly.
- Drink water instead of sodas.
- Look for white meat such as chicken or fish. Avoid higher-fat meats like red meat or bacon.
- Get broiled or baked foods rather than fried ones.
- Skip the add-ons like an appetizer or dessert.
- Put the bread basket out of convenient reach or ask the waiter to remove it.
- Set aside half of your meal to take home for tomorrow's lunch.
Questions & Answers
Question: Which meats are generally better for you when you eat in a restaurant?
Answer: Fish is lower in calories, and white meat like chicken is good choices. Avoid fried meats or ones with sauces which can make even fish or chicken a poor choice when eating in a restaurant.
Question: How can I resist the basket of bread that is served at restaurants?
Answer: What works best for me is to ask them not to bring the bread. This only works if the others at the table are willing to pass up the bread too. If the bread is at the table, try taking a small piece and skip the butter and any spread if you can. Also, place the basket at the far side of the table where it isn't easy for you to reach.
© 2018 Virginia Allain