Wednesday, March 16, 2011

3 things NOT to eat when at a restaurant

Everybody loves a going out for dinner. Even those who love cooking and find it therapeutic, sometimes just want to have somebody else do the food prep, cooking and clean-up. 

But most people really struggle to make wise choices when dining out. How do you order something healthy, yet appetizing? After all, aren't the "healthy dishes" boring and uneventful? Not always. And instead of telling you what to do, how about we look at what NOT to do? That list is a little shorter.

So here are 3 things NOT to eat when out at a restaurant.
It's not the oil that's criminal, its the bread!

1. Bread/chips at the table. I know this is so difficult to do because they are just staring at you, begging to be eaten. Bread waiting for olive oil, chips with the sad look on their face because all they want is to be eaten with salsa. But this is one of the quickest ways to destroy a great day of eating. First off, they are ALL high glycemic carbohydrates that will quickly be digested and stored as fat.

2. 1/2 your meal. Most restaurants grossly over-portion their foods. So you've got 2 options. A) Split the meal with somebody or B) have your server bring a to-go box so you can put 1/2 of your meal away for later. What's that? You got the 1200 calorie cobb salad? Have them bring your other half in a box so you can eat it the next day. Now all of a sudden that 1200 calorie salad is only 600 calories!
3. Anything fried. Aside from a psychological reprieve, fried foods do nothing for you. In fact eating fried foods can slow your metabolism and cause your body to store fat rather than use it as fuel! Instead have foods cooked in olive oil. This unsaturated fat is great for you and can help build muscle, improve the health of your heart, fight inflammation and it tastes great!

Here's the big take away with these 3 things: It is very difficult to resist eating chips/bread, french fries/zucchini/onion rings or eating all of your meal. Not many people have the will power to stare at a bowl full of bread or chips and keep their hands out of it, or to stare at a plate full of delicious food and not continue to pick at it, me included. I'm one of the biggest culprits - If there are french fries left over and nobody is eating them, I'll start picking at them. If there's bread on the table, you bet I'll eat it!! So just remove the temptation!
Have more questions about what to eat while your dining out? Then register for our "Eating Healthy While Dining Out" workshop with Diane Campbell, RD. Diane is going to share even more tips and strategies on how to burn fat and eat healthy while still enjoying a night on the town!!

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