Ever step foot into a restaurant feeling hesitant because you are trying to lose weight and think your food choices might kill your diet? This week we are looking at tips and tricks to sticking to your diet while still dining out with family and friends.
1. DINE IN THE LIGHT
This might sound strange, but studies have found that people who ate in places that had a brighter light were more likely to order healthier food options than those who dine in the dimmed lighted restaurants as we are more alert on what we order when the light is brighter… And are more likely to order 39% more calories when dining in the dark… Might seem strange but it’s true!
2. SAY NO TO THE STARTERS
Although you might be starving when you sit down to eat, try and avoid the buttery, oily bread starters. Research has shown that people who consumed a protein-based appetizer like prawn cocktails or olives rather than a slab of bread and butter consumed 16% fewer calories in their entrees and mains then those who scoff bread.
3. DON’T HESITATE ON A DOGGY BAG
Studies have shown when you ask for a doggie bag you are more likely to eat less and take home what you can’t finish. As studies have shown our bodies eat 90% of the food in front of us that is served to us…
4. BEWARE THE STARTER SALADS
Yes it is always good to start on a salad, but a lot of restaurants these days tend to over pile the starter salads with unhealthy creamy dressings or deep fried chicken or seafood. Don’t fall for this tasty temptation. Opt for the green vegetable salads with light dressings instead and start your dining experience off the light and right way.
5. HAVE A SNACK BEFORE YOU ARRIVE
Snacking on a healthy option before you arrive, like a handful of nuts or a Lady Bar, will ensure you don’t arrive hungry and therefore over eat. You’ll also make more rational choices with a clearer mind. Top tip – the more protein in your snack, the fuller you will feel.
6. DRINK WATER BEFORE YOU ARRIVE
Studies show that people on a diet who drink 500 ml of water half an hour before a meal will eat smaller portions, fewer calories and lose more weight than those who don’t.
7. SLOW DOWWWWWWNNNN
The slower you eat your food the more likely you are to eat less. It can also make you feel full more quickly. Try simple tricks, like putting your fork down between bites and sipping on a non-sugary drink in between mouthfuls – give your satiety signals some time to kick in.
8. MAKE BETTER ALCOHOL CHOICES
Drinking alcohol can add a significant number of calories to your meal. A large glass of wine can add 280 calories to your meal (the same as a chocolate bar). If you don’t want to give up the wine, try a smaller glass or switch to a low calorie alcohol option like vodka lime and soda. The lower the alcohol level in the option, the fewer the calories.
9. BEWARE THE ‘HEALTHY OPTIONS’
You might see a meal highlighted as “gluten-free” or “sugar-free” but these labels don’t necessarily mean it’s a healthy option. Sometimes hidden fats and sugars can be the same, if not worse than their mainstream alternatives. Instead, opt for simple dishes where you know your likely portion size, and those that avoid buttery or sugary sauces such as steak and vegetables.
10. DITCH DESSERT
Dessert is another one that can sabotage your dieting options while dining out. The best option with dessert is to plan to switch it out for a coffee or tea, both of these will boost your metabolism but also cut the unnecessary calories. That said, if you are peer pressured into having dessert – then your next best option is to go halves and share the love!