Dining Out and Staying In Control, Part I

Eating out can wreck havoc in any one's good health plans.  Why?  Serving sizes can be three times what a proper portion should be, most of those delicious foods are loaded with fat and sodium, and there's plenty of temptation to indulge.

If you eat out once a month or less frequently, you could approach eating out as more of an occasional treat, and allow a bit more of a controlled splurge.  The problem arises when you eat out more frequently, as many Americans do. If you want to stay healthy and eat out often, you need to develop the skills to control your choices.

Before You Go To the Restaurant:

  1. Have a healthy snack. Choose a food to get your blood sugar level back into the normal range.  Going to a restaurant when you are really hungry, sets the scene for losing control of your food choices and overeating. If it's been a long time since you've eaten, take the edge off your hunger. Try a fat-free yogurt, low fat string cheese stick, or a piece of fruit.  Dairy products are a good choice because they are often not selected at a restaurant. Fruit would give you fiber that would help fill you up. 
  2. Plan what you're going to order before you go, whenever possible.  Look up the menu online, ask people for menu ideas or call ahead.  Make your healthy choice.  This reduces the chance of being influenced by the wonderful menus, description of foods that leave you drooling, fanastic aromas, photos of yummy foods, server's suggestions, and peer pressure.
  3. Wear nice "fitted" clothes.  Leave the loose stretchy pants at home!   They simply leave way too much room for tummy growth while you over eat.  Don't go for the pants that are too tight either.  That's just wrong.
  4. Drink a glass of water.  This fills up your stomach just a bit, gives your body something it needs, and it may even increase your activity level once you are at the restaurant!
Stay tuned for Part II of Dining Out and Staying in Control, when we tackle what to do at the restaurant.