When we are eating out we need to learn how to make smart choices in restaurants, with fewer calories and lower fat. While I’m all for reducing the gargantuan portion sizes most restaurants serve, I don’t think you need to focus so scrupulously on calories, and you need to worry even less on fat.
Employ these five strategies the next time you eat out and you’ll get similar (and maybe even better) benefits as the women did in that study:
Swamp the breadbasket for olives.
You know as soon as your server puts down that breadbasket, you’re going to dive right in. Don’t let that happen. (If your friends insist, ask them to take one piece and ask your server to remove the rest.) Olives, raw vegetables with salsa, and even a cheese plate make far better starter options.
Swap the app for a salad.
A study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association showed women who eat a 100-calorie salad ate less food during their meal. I’m talking a small salad here, not one of those zillion-calorie salads loaded with creamy dressing and dried fruit.
Swap the pasta for lean protein. A big plate of fettuccini Alfredo is a surefire way to spike and crash your blood sugar and store fat. Choose a lean protein instead such as salmon, poultry, lamb, or steak. And avoid any meat with the words “breaded” or “battered” beside it.
Swap the starch for another vegetable.
Rather than the rice pilaf or baked potato, request sautéed spinach with garlic or whatever other vegetable sounds good. You’ll spike your nutrient quota while reducing the meal’s glycemic load. And I bet that spinach will be just as delicious as the potato.
Swap the sugary dessert for fresh fruit.
The easiest way to undo a healthy meal is a big, gooey dessert. Ask instead for fresh berries in cream or the fruit-and-cheese plate along with a cup of green or herbal tea.