If you're trying to watch your weight, you're probably worried about the weight you can gain from dining out. While it's true that fast food and restaurant dining can lead to weight gain, there are ways to prevent the extra pounds. In fact, it is possible to enjoy lunch or dinner out at a restaurant without adding weight to your bottom line. All it takes is a bit of planning. Here are four strategies that will help you control your weight while dining out.
If you know where you'll be going in advance, take the time to plan ahead. Most restaurants offer online menus, which allow you to look at the options you'll have available to you. Take a look at the menu options, as well as the caloric values of each item. By knowing what you're going to order ahead of time, you'll reduce the chances of sabotaging your diet once you get there. If you know you want something that's a little higher on the calorie count, find a low-calorie side to go with it. That way, you can have what you want and not blow your calories out of the water.
Avoid the Breads and Appetizers
If you're watching your weight, avoid the bread and appetizers that are often available at the start of a meal. These items add empty calories to your diet and will fill you up before your meal even arrives. If you do want something small before your meal arrives, request a serving of fresh fruit or salad instead.
Ask for Suggestions
If healthy options aren't identified on the menu, ask the server for suggestions. Most restaurant servers will know about the healthy options that are available on the menu. It's also a good idea to ask if you can put your own a la carte items together to create an individualized menu option.
If you know you're the only one in your group who's watching your weight, be sure to order first. This is particularly important if you're not sure you'll be able to withstand the temptation of hearing what your friends are ordering before you make your final selection. Ordering first will allow you to order your healthy options before your friends begin ordering foods that might make you change your mind.
You don't have to say to no to lunch out with friends just because you're trying to watch your weight. With some careful planning, you can enjoy lunch out and still watch your weight. The suggestions here will help you choose wisely when heading out to a restaurant for lunch.
If you're not sure where to eat, try restaurants like Cafe13.