Do you love to eat out? Who doesn’t, right? It’s not that big of a deal, that is unless you’re striving to attain any measure of effective weight loss. Truth be told, we all know that fixing our own meals is the surest path to achieving fat loss success. While restaurants love to fix meals that make your taste buds sing, those tantalizing dishes tend to take a toll on your waistline.
If you’re facing not just the occasional dinner out, but a series of occasions right in a row, here are some tips for having a great time while still meeting your weight goals.
Don’t go hungry
This seems like a no-brainer, right? If you’re starving by the time you reach the restaurant, then you’re setting yourself up to fail. There’s no way you’re going to pass up the bread basket with hunger nipping at your heels.
Manage your hunger before you leave your house. Have a snack that incorporates some healthy fats, which fill you up and help burn fat at the same time. Examples include almond butter spread on sprouted grain bread; sliced avocados and tomatoes mixed in olive oil; or a healthy smoothie made with fruit, a tablespoon of (non-alkaline) unsweetened cocoa powder and whey protein. Fueled up with nutritious, fat-burning food, you can then proceed to the restaurant and make healthy, sensible choices.
Choose diet-friendly options
Let’s face it. Restaurants will always try and incorporate the three ingredients that westerners seem to love the most: fat, sugar, and salt. This keeps you coming back because the food just tastes so darn good. It’s tough to avoid, but there are a few things you can do to lessen the damage.
This might seem obvious, but avoid anything drowning in grease, butter or cheese. If you order what appears to be a healthier sandwich and it comes wrapped in giant slices of bread, then consider tossing at least one slice and saving some precious calories there. Look for grilled, lean meats and steamed vegetables. Salads are usually always a good option as well, but toss out the high-calorie croutons and dressings. You might even try asking the waitstaff if the kitchen can provide a bit of olive oil on the side to use as a healthier, fat-burning dressing. Ask for fruit bowls as an alternative to dessert, or save some money and eat a piece of fruit when you get home.
Here’s one solid tip that’s an effective weight loss winner every time. Split a meal with a friend or partner. Western portions tend to be much larger than what we actually need to feel satisfied. And that’s the goal. You should not eat until you feel full, you should instead eat until you are satisfied. By splitting a meal, you not only save money, but you will also most likely find that half a portion is more than plenty. And if you’re still hungry after you’ve eaten your half, you can always order more. But I bet you won’t need to.
Lastly, don’t ever go to a restaurant, and certainly not a buffet, with the intention of “getting your money’s worth”. Eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re satisfied, no matter what your friends do.
Our bodies often misinterpret thirst for hunger. That’s why you should drink plenty of water or unsweetened tea during your meal. The more you drink, the faster your belly fills up. And if you’re drinking some great fat-burning iced tea, then avoid the temptation to put even artificial sweeteners in it. Those sweeteners actually work against your weight loss efforts. Suffice it to say that plain tea is always best.
Relax and Have Fun
If you’re out fretting about every calorie, then that’ll just add stress (which encourages weight gain) and you’ll have a terrible time. Just do your best, play it smart and have fun. The endless run of eating out will finish soon enough and you can return to your healthier diet.
Oh, and if your eating out involves fast food restaurants, then read our astonishing article on the hidden dangers lurking in this faux food. Click here to read more.
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