You know that when you visit a fast-food outlet, you’re getting junk – but other restaurants can also be a mine-field for your waist-line and nutrition.
Here are some ways to eat better when you’re out
- Ask for it to be made your way
For instance, if an item is fried, ask for it to be grilled or baked. If your disk comes with french fries, ask for a side of veggies or baked potato instead. Ask for a smaller portion of the meat and a larger portion of the salad; for salad instead of coleslaw ask for a Greek salad with the dressing on the side. Most restaurants will be open to accommodating you and your preferences.
- Order a salad first
Skip the bread basket and go straight to greens. Scientists at Pennsylvania State University found that volunteers who ate a big veggie salad before the main course ate fewer calories overall than those who didn’t have a first-course salad.
- Decode Danger Words
Watch out for descriptions that use the words creamy, breaded, crisp, sauced, or stuffed, these are likely loaded with hidden fats. Alarm bells should also go off it you hear that foods are buttery, sautéed, pan-fried, au gratin, Parmesan, cheese sauce, scalloped, and au lait, à la mode, or au fromage. Instead, zoom in on orders with words such as “grilled,” “steamed” and “baked.”
- Limit liquid calories
If you must order an alcoholic drink, forget the sugary cocktails, instead go for a glass of wine, a light beer, a vodka and tonic or a simple martini. Drink water throughout the meal. It will slow you down, and fill your stomach as you eat.
- Size matters
Order regular portion sizes instead of the jumbo or super sizes that are so common. Ask for half your entrée to be wrapped up to go before the food is brought to the table. Try an appetizer, half an entrée, or share a meal with a friend and order an extra side salad.
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