Eating Out

Defeating Temptations While Eating Out

With oversized restaurant portion sizes and the plethora of fattening menu choices, dining out can become a bit of a headache. Consider these tips the next time you are asked to dine out and enjoy…

Know the menu.

If there is ever a chance for you to preplan before you dine out… do it. These days you can access almost any menu online to make it easier for you to choose a wiser menu option before even going to the restaurant. This will equip you with the tools needed to make wiser selections.

Know your portion sizes.

To help you become familiar with healthier portion sizes here are some ideas to help you when dining out.

  • Your fist is about the same size of one cup of fruit or pasta.
  • Your thumb (tip to base) is the size of one ounce of meat or cheese.
  • Your palm (minus fingers) equals three ounces of meat, fish, or poultry.
  • Your cupped hand equals one to two ounces of nuts or pretzels.

Know how to order.

  • Try ordering menu items a la carte. Platters, combos, and meals may come with extras you might not want. For example, a group of side items can make a great meal and fruit can make a delicious appetizer.
  • Ask about the size of the dish. This could be important information when watching calories. Ask for smaller portion sizes (lunch portion size).
  • You can add vegetables to just about anything (salad, pasta, soup, and cheeseburgers) if you just ask.
  • Watch out for cheese, sour cream, gravies and special sauces. These can add a number of unexpected calories.
  • Ask for your food not to be prepared with butter, cream sauces or oil.
  • When in doubt, opt for brighter color. Most high-calorie, high-fat menu items are brown, beige, white or pale yellow (other than some desserts, of course).

Know to always bring some home.

As soon as the plate is set in front of you, know that you should bring some home. Divide your food and only eat half of the portion given. If having some left on your plate is too much of a temptation, ask your server to wrap up the other half or for a to-go box.

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