Weight Loss Wednesday: Staying Healthy While Eating Out

     We live in a culture of convenience.  In today’s fast-paced society, the idea of convenience is applied to almost every aspect of our lives, and food is no exception. Currently, it is estimated that 47% of the US food dollar is spent on foods consumed away from the home. Chances are, nearly everyone reading this blog post has eaten out in the past month. I know I have. So what does this mean in reference to maintaining healthy nutrition?

 What's the best option here???

What's the best option here???

     Under the perfect circumstances, everything would go according to plan and all your meal prep would get done, you’d watch two hours of tv and then go to bed at nine pm on the dot and get a full eight hours of sleep before waking up to your alarm in the morning, smiling. But we all know that life doesn’t always go as planned. Sometimes we work late. Sometimes the kids just won’t go to bed and neither can we. Sometimes you sleep through the alarm on the day you have a huge presentation to give at work and through all of it, you still need to eat. Sometimes eating out really is your only option. Now this is not to say that you just throw in the nutritional towel and order a couple Big Macs, large fries and a gallon of soda. Even if you are forced to make a less than stellar choice, you can still choose the “best” bad choice.  Here are a few quick tips to help you along:

2.      Drink water with your meal

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Consuming water with your meal in place of a 32oz. regular cola reduces your total calories by over 400!!!

3.      Go NAKED…

Watch out for items like salads and sandwiches, which are often slathered in dressings, sour cream, spreads or mayo. Whenever possible, ask for your dressings on the side to save calories.

4.      Special Order It

Ask and you shall receive. Ask for veggies to be broiled or steamed, ask for whole wheat bread or ask to have it left off all together.

5.      Eat Mindfully

Don’t shovel your food! Pay attention to it, be present and don’t rush. If you have to eat on the run, make sure to order smaller portions of healthy items so you have no choice but to limit your intake.

 

Avoid eating out when you can, and if you can’t, use the tips above and make the best bad choice. Other things to avoid are buffets, salt and value-sized portions. They all make you more prone to overeating. Remember, small changes on a daily basis add up to consistency and result in overall positive change.