Currently, Americans are eating out 4-5 times per week on average.
While eating out isn’t always bad for you, there is a tendency to make compromises when faced with a menu full of delicious—but unhealthy—meal options. In the long term, some of these will not only interfere with weight loss, but can also have a negative impact on overall health.
Dining out has become commonplace, and that very fact can provide the first helpful hint when it comes to ordering in restaurants. When you realize about 20 percent of your eating takes place in them, and will likely determine 20 percent of your results, it becomes much easier to think about it in practical terms. With that in mind, it’s also useful to subscribe to the following guidelines:
· Prioritize protein and fiber. Start with a veggie-packed salad or protein-based appetizer.
· Choose baked, broiled or grilled options; avoid fried foods.
· Wherever possible, substitute fibers for starches.
· Maximize flavors, minimize portions. Consider ordering several appetizers to share instead of an entrée each.
· If you do order an entrée, divide and conquer by splitting it with a friend, or packaging one half immediately.
· Condiments carry calories. Order all sauces and dressings on the side, and use sparingly.
With these tips in mind, healthy eating becomes easy, and dining out can be a much more enjoyable experience. Relax with friends and family, knowing that success with TLS means a balance of food, fitness and fun!