Thursday, May 9, 2013

Weekly Tip: Translating Restaurant Menus

It's going to happen to you at some point in your weight loss journey, it's inevitable: you're going to eat out at a restaurant.  Situations like going out to eat make it difficult for people to make good food choices because there's so much temptation, but there are ways to interpret the menu and figure out which dishes you should opt for.  Here are some things to keep in mind:

-Good: grilled, broiled, roasted, baked, steamed, steamed, blackened or poached

-Bad: pan-fried, sautéed, battered, breaded, au gratin, cheesy, creamy, buttered, deep-fried, béarnaise, or crispy

-Go for veggies!  You don't necessarily have to order a salad, but when looking over the menu try to pick out the items that include lots of veggies.  Opt for sides like steamed vegetables instead of french fries.

-Keep it simple! Aim for the simpler sounding dishes.  The more complicated a dish sounds, the more ingredients it has in it, which means the more calories it probably has.

-Sammies: order sandwiches with whole wheat, pita, or multi-grain bread. 

-Get saucy! Watch out for cream or cheese sauces, try to choose lighter sauces and clear broths instead.

Of course there are other great tips for eating healthy when eating out as well:

-Look up the menu online before hand and have an idea of which things you can eat before you go.  Try to make a plan and stick with it.
-Ask for a half portion, or ask the server to box up half your entree before serving it to you.
-If you know you're going out to eat for dinner, try to eat lighter or get a good work out in earlier in the day.  Don't skip meals, however, since then you'll show up to the restaurant starving and probably make poor choices.
-Remember: you're the guest at the restaurant, which means they'll give you what you want.  Don't be afraid to customize a dish or ask for substitutions.

Happy dining!

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