Sunday, March 1, 2015

Who won? Me or the Plate? Tips for Eating Healthy at Restaurants

So as everyone can see nutrition is at the front of my mind recently, for good reason too because I am focused on dropping some lbs. The last post was about not eating out all the time which Kassia and I really struggle with. We made a goal to only eat out twice a month in March which wil
l be a big deal for us because we love love love to eat out. One of our problems when we do go out is that we have this mindset of "Eat until you hate yourself" I figure I shouldn't go home from a restaurant until I am so full I can barely move. So literally everytime we go out, we have to sit on the couch for like 2 days until we can move again. We obviously need to change the way we eat at restaurants!
Anyways I came up with some simple ideas to eat healthier when eating out.

1. Limit the free appetizers.
Several restaurants offer bread, chips or some other food for free for you to snack on until your food comes and its usually unlimited. (Lets be honest I think it's cheap when restaurants don't offer something to snack on) Instead of doing what I do, maybe limit yourself to just one serving of the bread instead of having 20.

2. Stick to water
There are so many calories in soda and a freakishly insane amount of sugar. Take a 12 ounce can of coke for example, it has around 140 calories and about 40 grams of sugar, and that's a CAN! At a restaurant they give you about a 16 ounce glass and the refills keep on coming. I bet more often than not I'm on my 3rd glass by the time my food actually gets there. That's a ton of calories! Sticking to water can cut out a ton of sugar and calories.
3. Avoid deep fried
Deep fried food is jam packed with calories and fat! Like a freaking boat load of fat and calories, but it usually tastes amazing. However opting for a grilled chicken sandwich over a deep fried one is a better option.
4. Be careful with the dressings and dipping sauces
Dressings and dipping sauces are the easiest way to add a lot of extra calories to a meal. If you're eating the bread or whatever the appetizer is avoid the dipping sauces or use it minimally. With salad ask for the dressing on the side, chances are you won't need to use the entire serving of dressing. Kassia has an obsession with fry sauce so she always asks for it, everyone outside of Utah thinks she's crazy when she asks for a bowl of mayonnaise to mix with her ketchup haha. In this case we could benefit from not asking for fry sauce or mayo!
5. Ask for a to go box at the BEGINNING  of the meal. You can ask the waiter for a to go box when they bring the food, that way you won't eat the whole plate which will save a lot of calories because most of the time portion sizes are massive, and as a plus you will have the other half to eat later.
6. Share an entree
Now I used to scoff at this idea, my parents would say that they would go to a restaurant and share an appetizer and an entree. My response was always "I'm not going to do that because I don't want to leave hungry!" I've come to realize that sharing an entree won't leave me hungry, as a matter of fact I will probably be perfectly satisfied instead of hating myself because I am so stuffed.... and the best part is it will save some money!
7. YOU DON'T HAVE TO CLEAR YOUR PLATE!
Now I don't know how many people think like this but I know I do. Every time I go to a restaurant I look at the plate as competition and if I can eat all that delicious fatty food then I win. Brady 1 Plate 0. However after going out to eat last night and not following anything on this list other than the water I realized how terrible I felt. I got a massive burrito and I ate the whole thing plus the rice and beans! I literally felt like I couldn't walk! Had I humbled myself halfway through and said "You know what I can stop right now and nobody will judge me for not finishing my food" my night last night would have been a million times better. Getting out of this "clear your plate" mindset can really help reduce caloric intake. And when you're done you can look at that plate and say "You know who won? I did!"

Now I don't think it's bad to splurge every once in awhile and just eat a butt load of food. If you just want to go to a restaurant and eat everything in sight then disregard these tips. Or if you don't believe in eating healthy at a restaurant which is totally fine then disregard these tips. But if you're like me and need to have a more balanced diet and you don't want the weekend restaurant trips to ruin your weekend and your diet then follow these tips and your body will thank you!

Thanks for reading,

Brady

1 comment:

  1. Such great tips! My hubby and I are very similar in this regard. :)

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